It’s 4/20, but don’t forget that marijuana use is still largely illegal in Texas

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – April 20 is a day many marijuana users celebrate cannabis, with 420 being a slang term for marijuana.

While there is a small program that allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes here in Texas, recreational use is still illegal.

Seven years ago, Amy and Jay Novacek’s son, Blake, was mugged at college.

“Because of the traumatic brain injury, she started having seizures and was later diagnosed with epilepsy,” Amy said.

After her doctor prescribed medical marijuana under the state’s compassionate use program, her roughly 20 seizures a day dropped to one a week.

“It’s a drug that makes a big difference for the whole family and I know it does for a lot of other families.”

Patients are only allowed doses of 1% THC under state law, but the Novaceks are asking lawmakers to legalize higher levels of THC.

NORML, or the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, is a non-profit organization that operates throughout the county.

“It limits their ability to work with their doctors to find the best dose for them, so it’s really important that we allow that to be removed or removed entirely,” said Jax James, executive director of Texas NORML.

James believes lawmakers should legalize recreational use to generate more tax revenue for the state.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenue and tens of thousands of jobs can be brought to the state,” James said.

If you are caught with marijuana, depending on how much is found on you, you could face a fine or go to jail.

“Removing those criminal consequences allows more people to stay in the field of working employees where they won’t have to ‘check the box,’ so to speak,” James said.

However, there is pushback from most law enforcement agencies about recreational use. The Texas Police Chiefs Association released a 2019 report on the impact of marijuana legalization on state and local governments and communities where they found that crime, driving under the influence, and cannabis use by youth increased in states that legalized recreational marijuana, while state tax revenue expectations fell short. .

Another mother CBS 11 spoke with who moved to Texas agrees with police.

“That’s ridiculous, Texans don’t want to legalize marijuana. They don’t want to be like California, they don’t want to be like Colorado. Texans have common sense, they’re smart, they know the facts,” said Aubree Adams. .

She is with Every Brain Matters, a group that works to prevent the spread of marijuana use in communities. She claims that legal marijuana harmed her child.

“My son became addicted and had psychotic episodes from dabbling with marijuana, what they call medicine, and developed a substance use disorder,” Adams said.

Some studies have suggested a link between heavy marijuana use and psychosis, but research is strictly limited by current laws. “Dabs” refers to highly concentrated preparations of THC, the active chemical in marijuana.

Debate continues over the legalization of recreational marijuana in the next legislative session in Texas.

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