Paralyzed Texas Man Pushes for Medical Marijuana Bill
A 1985 diving accident at Village Creek left then-Kountze High School junior Chris Cain paralyzed.
Now 39, Cain said he treats muscle spasms associated with the accident with marijuana.
Prescription drugs, according to the Kountze resident, caused him to feel zombie-like, or set his heart to racing.
"The doctors have put me on sedatives and different drugs. And for a couple years, I couldn't work, I couldn't think and couldn't function because of these pills," Cain said Monday, while seated before a trio of glowing computer screens he uses to connect to clients of his home-based Web site consulting service.
Since 2004, Cain has advocated for legislation of marijuana for medicinal purposes in Texas. Most recently, he spoke at a May 2 rally at the capitol sponsored by the Texas Cannabis Crusade and members of the Texas chapter of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws.
Sonny Cribbs, a Beaumont criminal defense attorney, said he expects the Texas legislature will never join the 15 states that have to date legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Medicinal marijuana bills have died in the state legislature before and the most recent proposal, filed by Rep. Elliott Naishtat, D-Austin, appears to be headed for the same fate.
The bill would establish medical necessity as a defense to marijuana possession and also prevent doctors from being punished for recommending marijuana use to treat serious conditions.
For the Texas House of Representatives to even vote on a bill, it must be scheduled for a reading by Tuesday. Naishtat's bill, however, has so far not made it out of committee.
Hardin County Sheriff Ed Cain, who is not related to Chris Cain, would like to see the bill remain there.
Marijuana, Ed Cain said, is frequently abused by adolescents who do not view it as dangerous as harder drugs like co*aine or m***.
"It's the same as any drug or alcohol," Ed Cain said, noting that like other intoxicants, marijuana can impair physical and mental capabilities and lead to the use of harder drugs.
Ed Cain said he does not believe there is any medicinal benefit to the drug and that medical necessity is an excuse.
"I just don't think it has any role whatsoever except to make you high," Ed Cain said.
Juries have tended to agree, Cribbs said, noting that in instances where he's had clients who have claimed that they possessed marijuana to treat nausea associated with cancer treatment, the defense has not been persuasive.
However, 75 percent of Texans polled by the Scripps Research Center in Abilene in 2004 indicated they believe marijuana should be legalized for medicinal purposes, according to the Web site for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. Nationwide, according to the ACLU, polls have found that 60 to 80 percent of people support medicinal marijuana.
Members of the Texas Medical Association have not advocated marijuana use, but the association's policy on the subject states that there is not enough peer-reviewed research to determine whether marijuana is more beneficial or harmful.
The association encourages doctors to be willing to discuss all treatment options with patients, including marijuana, but does not suggest advocating its use.
Chris Cain said he has testified as a witness in legislative committee hearings about marijuana laws and that at the time legislators seemed sympathetic.
"But, for political reasons, you always get shot down," Chris Cain said.
News Hawk: MsRedEye: http://www.420magazine.com/
Source: Beaumont Enterprise
Author: Colin Guy
Copyright: 2009 The Beaumont Enterprise
Contact: Contact Us >> www.beaumontenterprise.com - Submit News
Website: Paralyzed Kountze man pushes for medical marijuana bill >> www.beaumontenterprise.com - Local
Re: Paralyzed Texas Man Pushes for Medical Marijuana Bill
SAherrif Cain isnt adoctor is ihe? How can he know about the medical uses of a drug? They dont have a clue just an opinion, unless they have used the drug for medical reasons. Texas is a state that will be one of the last states to do anything like that, They would just as soon shoot you like a criminal cause they see you as a criminal.