Possession of even a small amount of marijuana is still a crime in Texas, despite urgings in recent years to decriminalize cannabis for medical and recreational use. In fact, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a limited medical marijuana bill earlier this year, but the new law is not expected to help everyone who would medically benefit from use of marijuana.
The reality is that Texans from all walks of life are in favor of marijuana reform, and recently a group of veterans rallied in Austin to urge lawmakers to draft new policy that allows veterans to safely and legally access the medical marijuana they need.
On Veterans Day, military service members launched the "Operation Trapped" campaign to raise awareness about the importance of medicinal marijuana for veterans.
With the backing of the Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy coalition, service members from the Army, Navy and Air Force gathered at the capitol to call on legislators to expand use of medical marijuana for service-related conditions such as traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.
The group has also asked Texas veterans across the state to mail their empty prescription pill bottles to the Texas NORML location in Austin. The organization will then put a symbolic toy soldier in every pill bottle collected over the course of the year, and the collection of bottles will be presented next year on Veterans Day.
One of the main goals of the veteran-activists is to help military service members obtain safe and effective treatment -- medical marijuana -- rather than rely on ineffective and addictive prescription drugs.
Sadly, for many veterans throughout the country, attempts to self-medicate have led to criminal convictions for possession of marijuana, prescription drugs and heroin.
While it remains to be seen how quickly, if at all, the legislature responds to the veterans' call for reform, the truth is that a veteran or anyone else accused of a drug offense is entitled to a criminal defense. If you find yourself facing a drug charge, then don't hesitate to contact a criminal defense attorney to explain your situation.
At Granger, Mueller & Wood P.C., we get to know our clients' individual stories and develop comprehensive defense strategies with a view toward a reduction or dismissal of charges.
When a dismissal is not possible, we help our clients obtain alternative sentencing under the state's Drug Court Program. In some cases, the program allows for the sentence to be reduced to probation, and it may be possible to negotiate for nondisclosure of the sentence or deferred adjudication, which is similar to a dismissal.
For more on these matters, please see our drug possession overview.