State legislature considering marijuana law changes

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NAVASOTA, Tex. (KBTX) - The state legislature is expected to tackle marijuana law reform this session. On Tuesday, the 86th Legislative Session convened. State Republicans and leading lawmakers have expressed interested in decriminalizing small amounts of the drug. People in both parties are also pushing for more access to medical marijuana including local residents in the Brazos Valley.

Historically, the state has had a very conservative stance when it comes to the drug's use, but that could be changing.

"I actually suffer from a chronic pain condition, a very severe chronic pain condition in which no medications are available that directly work to help resolve that issue," said Crystal Davis of Navasota, "and the only thing that I have found to help me live a productive life has been the use of medical marijuana," she said.

Davis has been advocating for changes in Austin since last year. The Texas A&M Bush School graduate suffers from complex regional pain syndrome. Seven years ago she had complications from surgery.

"It's the only way that I have found in which I can leave the house and actually go out and do things otherwise for the last several years," said Davis.

"I've been stuck on my couch or in bed much of that time," she explained.

Davis adds she found a new purpose in politics. She's become active in the Brazos County Democratic Party and wants medical marijuana to be expanded in the state.

"I think that it's easy to underestimate the number of people that medical marijuana could help. It's not just people who have epilepsy or someone like me with a very severe pain condition," she said.

While other states have made their marijuana laws more lax, Davis has to break the law to get marijuana in Texas. She left her job in Washington, D.C. because of her health.

"When you leave a high level executive job and you are stuck on a couch or bed for years it's about being able to find your life again," said Davis.

She's optimistic laws will change so she can have treatment.

"I think that the future is going to send us that direction. It's just how long in the future is it going to take?" she said.

Currently, the only patients that can have access to medical marijuana in the state have to suffer from intractable epilepsy.

Leadership with the Texas District and County Attorney's Association told KBTX Tuesday it's too soon to say what course of action the legislature will take.