Veterans gather at Capitol asking for legal medical marijuana

Veterans Day marijuana rally (KXAN)
Veterans Day marijuana rally (KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Hours after this morning’s Veterans Day Parade, military veterans from across the state gathered at the state capitol for a cause important to veterans coming home with health issues.

The group of veterans are asking for legal access to medical marijuana. They are launching “Operation Trapped,” supported by Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy.

Proponents of the group say it’s a safer alternative to prescription drugs for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and other health issues. Other medical issues treated by medical marijuana for veterans includes: traumatic brain disorder (TBI), and chronic pain.

“Veterans have sacrificed greatly to serve and protect our nation,” said David Bass of Killeen, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom II. “It’s time to serve and protect the many soldiers who have returned home with debilitating conditions that would benefit greatly from medical marijuana. The goal of this campaign is to give those veterans a voice and get Texas legislators to listen.”

Protesters brought empty pill bottles to represent the veterans currently suffering from conditions that could be treated by medical marijuana.

“Medical marijuana is oftentimes more effective and typically much safer than most prescription drugs,” said Clif Deuvall of Waco, a U.S. Air Force veteran who participated in Operation Frequent Wind and the historic Saigon Airlift in Vietnam.

The current medical marijuana bill in Texas was signed into law with flaws preventing the majority of people who would benefit from a marijuana prescription from obtaining one. The patients who do qualify for prescriptions say there is not enough THC in the approved amounts of medical marijuana for them to fully benefit.

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