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Today: Jan 20, 2018
Jan 2013 Newsletter
Newsletters - 2010
Tuesday, February 19 2013 06:04
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January 2013

Hello Fellow Texan:

Message from the (Past)Director

We had a small meeting in December of people who contacted me to be more involved in advocating for medical marijuana patients in Texas. I called the meeting for 2 stated reasons. The main one being to file for 501c3 status and separate from the Dallas Peace Center, who has been our fiscal sponsor for 5 years. We are very grateful to the Dallas Peace Center for helping us all these years. I am happy to say we are well on our way to receiving 501c3 status. We only have one more paper to file with the IRS.

The second was to write bylaws for the organization describing our focus, organization and direction. We have done that.
The last reason was not stated and is implied in the title of this section. I stepped down as Director and nominated Ryan Rodriguez to replace me. This has been a work of heart for me, but the last year and a half have brought new challenges into my life that have taken my focus away from the coalition. Upon my friend, Tim Timmons, passing away I was reminded how important this work is and knew I did not have the schedule to do this justice anymore. I called Ryan right after attending Tims funeral and we discussed the future of the coalition. Ryan is a great organizer, as many of you know, I have known him for a long time and he has my full support.

Ryan brings with him not only the experience of being a founding member of DFW NORML and an Affiliate of Americans for Safe Access in Texas, he also served as president of DFW NORML for 5 years and grew that organization during his time there. Ryan also brings with him a passion to focus on medical marijuana. We both watched the courage of our friend Tim Timmons as he challenged the police to come arrest him for wanting a decent nights rest, without spasms from MS kicking him out of bed. It should not take courage to treat your illnesses in our state. I know Ryan not only has the skills, but the heart to fight for patients in our state. 

Stephen Betzen
Past Director, current treasure

Welcome and Thank Ryan as our new Director:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rep. Elliott Naishtat has Introduced A Medical Marijuana Affirmative Defense Bill HR 594

This bill is a step forward for Texas patients and would provide patients the right to mount an affirmative defense to prosecution under Texas law. I am not a lawyer but here is what it says about affirmative defense on Wikipedia:
An affirmative defense alleges facts that, if proven by the defendant, would defeat or reduce a claim even if the allegations alleged in the claim are all proven". It also provides the great example of self defense in the first section.

This bill also protects our doctors by allow them to give honest advice and have honest conversations with their patients regarding marijuana as medicine. Under current Texas Law Doctors have actually discharged patients who admit using marijuana for pain, because even this conversation prevents the doctor from treating the patient because they could lose their license. This is one reason why many doctors in Texas have remained silent on Medical Marijuana. Please note on the sidebar that the Texas Medical Association has addressed this in their statement.

This bill is a great step forward for Texas patients and Doctors and should be passed. Please contact your representative and ask for their support now.

MPP has made this easy.... just fill in the data on this page and they will send a letter for you.
Make is better by 1) Following it with a phone call 2
) Handwriting the letter and sending it yourself. 3) Requesting a meeting with your local rep and asking for their support.

Patient Spotlight: Bipolar Disorder 



My name is Angela.  I am 46 years old.  I graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1991 with a perfect GPA and went on to become a CPA.   Then, at the age of thirty, already quite successful in my career and life, tragedy struck.  I had my first manic episode and was diagnosed with Severe Bipolar Type 1 Disorder.  I don’t have a “maybe” case or a slight case.  I have been hospitalized several times, though have been hospital and episode free for over 11 years thanks, in large part, to cannabis.

After having tried almost every medication made for the anxiety and depression that accompany this illness, I had a doctor tell me that he wasn’t recommending it, as it was illegal, but that cannabis had shown quite a bit of promise in dealing with those symptoms.  So, at thirty, I tried cannabis for the first time.  No other medication, , addressed the symptoms as effectively and free of side effects as the correct indica/sativa blend of cannabis.

As it is illegal, I am now a criminal.  And I will continue to be one until some common sense re-enters our legislative picture.  I have raised two young men and a young woman who would make any parent proud.  I am a good wife and a good friend, and I love ALL my fellow man.  The fact that I am a criminal for using a medication that helps me more than anything is a travesty and flies in the face of our founders’ intentions.  These laws are based on propaganda and misinformation and, of course, money certainly plays a big part.  It’s time they change.



Myth of the Month 

"There are other drugs that work as well as marijuana, including Marinol, the pill containing synthetic THC(the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana)."

The Truth 
Marinol is a synthetic copy of THC, one of the more than 100 known cannabinoids found in marijuana. Marinol is expensive, does not work for everybody, has inconsistent results, creates more adverse side effects, and does not relieve symptoms as quickly or effectively as whole-plant therapies. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) reports "it is well recognized that Marinol's oral route of administration hampers its effectiveness because of slow absorption and patients' desire for more control over dosing."
Americans for Safe Access will seek En Banc review, continue fight to develop public health policy

Washington, DC -- The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a ruling today in the medical marijuana reclassification case, Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration. In a 2-1 decision, the Court granted standing in the case -- the right to bring a claim against the federal government -- but denied the legal challenge on the merits, agreeing with the government's assertion that "adequate and well-controlled studies" on the medical efficacy of marijuana do not exist.

"To deny that sufficient evidence is lacking on the medical efficacy of marijuana is to ignore a mountain of well-documented studies that conclude otherwise," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country's leading medical marijuana advocacy organization, which appealed the denial of the rescheduling petition in January of last year. "The Court has unfortunately agreed with the Obama Administration's unreasonably raised bar on what qualifies as an 'adequate and well-controlled' study, thereby continuing their game of 'Gotcha.'"

ASA intends to seek En Banc review by the full D.C. Circuit and,necessary, the organization will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. ASA intends to argue that the Obama Administration has acted arbitrarily and capriciously by using continually changing standards of "medical efficacy" in order to maintain marijuana as a Schedule I substance, a dangerous drug with no medical value. The government now contends that Stage II and III clinical trials are necessary to show efficacy, while ASA has consistently argued that the more than 200 peer-reviewed studies cited in the legal briefs adequately meet this standard.

In 2002, the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis, made up of several individuals and organizations including ASA, filed a petition to reclassify marijuana for medical use. That petition was denied in July 2011, after ASA sued the Obama Administration for unreasonable delaying the answer. The appeal to the D.C. Circuit was the first time in nearly 20 years that a federal court has reviewed the issue of whether adequate scientific evidence exists to reclassify marijuana.

"The Obama Administration's legal efforts will keep marijuana out of reach for millions of qualified patients who would benefit from its use," continued Elford. "It's time for President Obama to change his harmful policy with regard to medical marijuana and treat this as a public health issue, something entirely within the capability and authority of the executive office."

Patient advocates claim that marijuana is treated unlike any other controlled substance and that politics have dominated over medical science on this issue. Advocates point to a research approval process for marijuana, controlled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is unique, overly rigorous, and hinders meaningful therapeutic research. ASA argues in its appeal brief that the DEA has no "license to apply different criteria to marijuana than to other drugs, ignore critical scientific data, misrepresent social science research, or rely upon unsubstantiated assumptions, as the DEA has done in this case."

ASA will continue to put pressure on the Obama Administration, but will also be lobbying Members of Congress to reclassify marijuana for medical use. A new comprehensive public health bill on medical marijuana is expected to be introduced soon in Congress, and ASA is holding a national conference in February to support its passage.

Further information:
Today's D.C. Circuit decision:
ASA appeal brief:
CRC rescheduling petition: 

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