For the first time ever, Texas Republicans are allowing cannabis advocates to have a booth in their convention hall.
Michelle Walker, a self-described conservative who has a severely autistic son, said she had two options: leave Texas or go to prison.
Her son was on nine medications and the maximum amount of seizure treatments recommended by the Food and Drug Administration, but his condition wasn’t improving.
The one thing that made a difference, said Ms. Walker, was a high dose of medical cannabis, which is still illegal in Texas. Faced with possible arrest and jail time, the family moved to Colorado and became “medical refugees," as they're called.
Now Walker is back in town for the Republican Party of Texas Convention. She intends to urge her fellow Republicans to ease up on the state's strict MMJ laws. She wants to come home for good but can't until the law changes.
"We don't want recreational use," Walker told the Dallas News. Sitting at the Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism booth, she added: "This is about medical freedom. That’s why I’m here."
In 2017, when Texas lawmakers met for the legislative session, they debated a bill to loosen the state's "compassionate use" law for medical cannabis. Although it didn't become law, more than half of the House signed on in support.
This year, the party's temporary platform committee has reiterated its call for changing the medical cannabis law. The platform also suggested decriminalizing possession of one ounce or less of marijuana for personal use.
The permanent platform committee will decide Friday whether to keep this plank in the final platform, on which the full convention of more than 8,000 delegates will vote on Saturday, June 16.