Bryan pastor hopes to push past medicinal marijuana stigma

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Rick Sitton spends his days helping others. It's a calling that carried him to the role of senior pastor at First United Methodist in Bryan, and follows him home each day.

Sitton's grandson Jacob, 9, is a student at Houston Elementary in Bryan. He is also autistic, and in the past year and a half, has developed a motor disorder.

"The facial ticks, the eye ticks, the hitting, its almost all in rhythm," Sitton said.

Doctors say it is something that could worsen as Jacob gets older, leading Sitton to explore all treatment options.

One of those is medical marijuana.

Children Like Jacob have been treated with it and experienced a better quality of life.

"The stigma that is associated with marijuana has made everyone just immediately not want to dig further," Sitton said.

Its not legal in Texas, but Sitton is trying to change that. He wants it to be simply another viable treatment option. He's not alone.

A recent University of Texas and Texas Tribune poll says that 83% of adult Texans support the use of medical cannabis.

One of those Texans is John Delaney.

"Nobody in his right mind is advocating for young people to generally have access to marijuana," Delaney said.

"This controversy is all about sick children and sick adults."

Delaney presided over Bryan's 272nd District Court for nearly 15 years.

Tomorrow, he's heading to Austin to speak before the legislature in support of House Bill 2107, which would legalize medical marijuana.

Sitton just hopes lawmakers see beyond the stigma.

"There are many people in the State of Texas that are facing a choice," Sitton said. "Do I break the law and take a risk so I can help somebody I love, or do I do something else. That is a choice we shouldn't have to make."