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Valley Mother Continues to Push for Medical Cannabis Legislation

3 years 9 months 2 weeks ago Friday, July 21 2017 Jul 21, 2017 July 21, 2017 9:22 PM July 21, 2017 in News

MCALLEN - A Rio Grande Valley mother is pleading Gov. Greg Abbott to add medical marijuana to the ongoing special session agenda.

A house bill was filed in Austin that would legalize medical cannabis in Texas. But families and lawmakers said it can't pass without the governor's support.

Mayra Rivera’s son, Rosendo Robles, is almost 13. She said his health problems started when he was just 4 months old.

“To this day, he's still undiagnosed,” she said.

Rivera said he started having seizures a year ago.

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“There's nothing you can do but sit back and watch and pray that it finishes quickly. I wouldn't wish it upon anybody,” she said.

She said they’ve tried several pharmaceutical medications to stop the seizures. All had harmful side effects with little reward, so they started researching alternative options.

“We've tried homeopathy, we've tried herbal, we've tried aroma, we've done craniosacral, we've done reiki, we've done hyperbaric oxygen treatments,” she explained. “We've spent tens of thousands of dollars on alternative medicines, because we're desperate and that's what desperate parents do.”

Rivera said she wants to try a new treatment; medical marijuana.

“This is like… our last resort,” she said.

Rivera said she's met parents of children who are just like Robles. She said their kids are thriving on marijuana treatment.

Some of those families moved to Colorado where marijuana is legal, but others treat their children illegally in Texas.

“I just don't want to be one of those people. I want to do it legally,” she said.

Rivera said she doesn’t have the resources to move to a state where medical marijuana is legal.

The mother said she met with Gov. Abbott’s staff at the capitol last week and she believes they listened to her.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to the governor’s office on Friday. Abbott spokesperson John Wittman said the governor “still opposes the legalization of medical marijuana in Texas.”

He said no other items will be added to the special session agenda.

Rivera said she hopes minds will change in Austin, especially the governor’s.

“I believe he doesn't want Texans to suffer and that if he just educated himself on this topic, that he would have a change of heart and he would help us,” she said.

Wittman pointed out that the governor already signed a bill on marijuana into law back 2015. The Compassionate Use Act legalizes CBD oil for patients with epilepsy, but the program isn’t active yet.

Many families said their children do not qualify for help under that law anyway. Some patients with seizures are not diagnosed with epilepsy, while others require more than just CBD oil.

House Bill 85 was referred to committee. Representative Eddie Lucio III’s Office said the bill likely won’t go far without support from the governor. 

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