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Thanks for your Interest in the Austin Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus.

On a different note I want to update you on the latest news regarding Texas and the legalization of medical marijuana and the availability of marijuana edible sweets. Following the legalization of retail/ recreational marijuana sales in both Colorado and Washington, and medical marijuana in 22 other US states with more states with pending legislation, medical marijuana legalization in Texas appears inevitable. Yup, even in “law and order” states such as Texas. The question is no longer if Texas will legalize medical marijuana, but when?

Some folks who are involved with politically pushing for medical marijuana legalization, believe that it will occur in about 5 years. Right next door, medical marijuana has been legal in the state of New Mexico for 5 years. In 2013 in Oklahoma, a poll showed that over 71% of likely state voters want a program giving access to medical marijuana for patients who qualify. In our own state, Texans for Medical Marijuana annouces that the legislative efforts to bring medical marijuana to Texas has moved to a new organization called the Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care. Meanwhile, Texas State Rep. Elliott Naishtat is making his 7th attempt at getting a bill through the legislature that would allow the use of medical marijuana. Since he also states that he’s not trying to legalize pot or even legalize medical marijuana, what exactly is in this bill? Apparently the bill provides for what is known as an “affirmative defense.” If someone is arrested for marijuana or medical marijuana edibles possession and they have a debilitating disease or illness, if they can prove their doctors suggested marijuana as an alternative to help specific symptoms, a judge would have the option to dismiss the charges. This bill is at least a start in the right direction.

On the other side, there are the cynics that say no legislation will pass, since law enforcement makes too much money from illegal pot busts! And then there is the argument that legalization of marijuana will raise the crime rate. But that thinking is debunked in a new study from the University of Texas at Dallas, which concludes that in states where medical marijuana has been legalized, crime has not increased.

If you do a search for Texas medical marijuana, you will find numerous articles on the subject including the story about a 2014 Texas Lt. Governor candidate, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who supports medical marijuana. While Patterson still opposes legalizing or lowering the possession penalties for marijuana, he did express support for the medical use of cannabis.

We’ll periodically update the news regarding Texas and medical marijuana.

But I bet you didn’t know that CJ Knowles (leader of the Austin Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus) had a second cousin on his mother’s side that is a maritime injury attorney working in New Orleans. He is one of those lawyers who represent maritime workers who are seriously injured in maritime accidents. Unless you work in that dangerous world you may be totally unaware of what maritime law is. Well, it pertains to certain laws that relate to the navigable fresh waters in the United States, as well as to the open water such as in the Gulf of Mexico or along the coastal seaboard of the US. Maritime attorneys primary focus on maritime law, often referred to as admiralty law and the Jones Act. The Jones Act allows a maritime lawyer to bring legal actions on the behalf of an injured seaman, against ship owners, ship captain, or other crew members after a serious accident has occurred.

Maritime injury attorneys are the folks who represented the injured workers in the Gulf of Mexico BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and fire that occurred in 2010. It was a hideous disaster with crew members being cut down by shrapnel, hurled across rooms and buried under smoking wreckage. This horrific disaster had two distinct parts. First there was a blowout, and secondly, the destruction of the oil rig, the Horizon in which 11 people were killed and dozens injured.

More info on many different kinds of legal representation available to the community is coming as we ramp up the site.

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