Lobbying for Medical Marijuana
There is an oft repeated saying among students of political science that goes like this - "There are two things you should never see being made, sausage and laws." However, a trip to our Capitol Building during any legislative session is certainly interesting and my trip last week to spread Alan's story proved to be no different.
I was determined that my first stop would be Gov. Abbott's office. Why? Because Gov. Abbott has declared that he sees no reason in allowing Texans like Alan to legally obtain the help they need from medical marijuana. It may surprise you to know that in the just finished regular session of the legislature, over half of the House of Representatives, comprised mostly of Republicans, co-sponsored a bill to greatly expand medical marijuana in Texas. The problem is not in the House, it is in the Governor's mansion. As such, I was not sure of the reception that I would receive in the Governor's office, in fact, I was expecting that my efforts would be met with stiff resistance and possibly hostility. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
Although I knew that I would not be able to meet with Gov. Abbott, I did meet with one of his staff members. As I told her Alan's story and gave her copies of my two articles from the Pleasanton Express, her eyes began to tear up. She then recounted to me that her son had been injured in Afghanistan and she had no doubt that he could be helped by medical marijuana. Clearly, this was not the reaction I was expecting. She told me that she had hoped that Gov. Abbott would have changed his mind by now, but he has not. She promised to personally deliver my story to other staff members with the hope that it will influence his position. I hope she is right.
After that meeting, I had to go back to my car to get some papers. As I was heading back into the Capitol complex, I noticed a group of 10 or so people who were posing for pictures. Some of them had on Greg Abbott t-shirts. I offered to take a group picture of them and after doing this, they asked me why I was there. I told them Alan's story and how I was there to to talk to people about getting Texas to adopt medical marijuana so that Alan and tens of thousands of other Texans could see the results that Alan has seen. One person who was wearing a Greg Abbott shirt asked me, "Who would ever be against that?" I told her that Greg Abbott was against it. She was definitely surprised! I asked her to take the time to call the Governor to express her support for medical marijuana.
Can I ask you to do the same thing? Would you take five minutes of your time to call Gov. Abbott's office and express your support for expanding medical marijuana in Texas? His phone number is 512.463.2000. There are countless Texans who would appreciate it!
Tom Brite is a Pleasanton Express guest columnist. You may e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.