Military veterans meet for marijuana reform

Dr. Lang Coleman spent almost two decades fighting for his country, now he is inside the State Capitol fighting for change.

"The thing about cannabis, as medicine, is that it's a supplement. It synergizes, it acts with the medicines that we prescribe already so that we can reduce, profoundly, the amounts of medicine we use to treat symptoms," Dr. Coleman, a neuropsychologist, said.

Dr. Coleman is among dozens of military veterans, doctors, and educators advocating to legalize and broaden the use of medical marijuana in Texas.

"The Texas Compassionate Use Program that passed in 2015 allows for CBD oil for epilepsy and that leaves our veterans behind. Our veterans want to use cannabis for PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and chronic pain and they want to access the whole plant under their doctor's supervision," Jax Finkel, the executive director of Texas Norml, said.

For Dawn Brooks, she chose to use marijuana instead of traditional pain medicine after a series of surgeries. Not only for the results but also out of fear.

"When using opiates, basically, it leaves you very debilitated and essentially you're getting to a point where you're almost nonfunctional." Brooks, a Norml cancer wellness and support group member, said, "But the bottom line is that using the plant, using cannabis itself, relieves the stress, relieves the pain, it also brings in a feeling of wellness."

It is something advocates will continue to push for to help veterans and anyone fighting for their health.

"We owe it to veterans to explore that. If nothing else, let's reschedule this drug, let's keep in mind that it's a medicine. We're not talking about the old-style stuff we use to talk about in the 60's and 70's but we're talking about here is a medicine that can approximate a cure for these people and that's the big deal," Dr. Coleman said.

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