Making case for marijuana
June 06, 2002
Leaders of Houston's small but passionate drug policy reform movement plan to introduce a medical marijuana bill in the Texas Legislature next year. Their broader agenda, discussed in a conference at Rice University's Baker Public Policy Institute in April, focuses on spreading their message that the 'war on drugs' has been a costly, destructive failure.
Middle-aged men in business suits, college-aged men and women with assorted body piercings, and a paraplegic in a wheelchair were among the participants in this week's protest, which led to no arrests or confrontations with authorities.
Frank Smith, 80, said he has never used marijuana but opposes its prohibition, particularly for medical purposes, on principle. Proponents say marijuana is useful for conditions ranging from glaucoma to multiple sclerosis.
'I have prostate cancer,' Smith said. 'If I should ever need marijuana, I want to be able to smoke it without going to jail.'