Marchers gather for marijuana law reform

CBS Austin

Marchers in Austin joined part of a worldwide movement, pushing lawmakers for marijuana law reform.

They say the cost of enforcing current marijuana laws hurt communities more than it helps and want lawmakers to reconsider their stance on the drug.

"It's been very well-documented that cannabis use can help with the symptoms of PTSD. It can help with the symptoms of chronic pain that veterans return with," said Silvestre Tanenbaum with the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP).

Tanenbaum is a disabled army veteran and former police officer who is pushing to reform marijuana laws in Texas. He says enforcing the current laws is a waste of time and resources.

According to the Pew Research Center, more than half of Americans support marijuana legalization.

Supporters of marijuana reform in Texas say they have reached out to governor Abbott about meeting to discuss marijuana reform but have had no luck so far.

Their best hope for legislative reform, HB-81, was one of the hundreds of bills killed Thursday night when infighting among Republicans lawmakers created massive delays. The measure would have decriminalized marijuana possession under an ounce or less and resulted in a $250 fine.

Opponents of legalizing marijuana say there's no medical benefit to using the drug and believe it can be dangerous if children are exposed to it.

Tannenbaum and other veterans say marijuana reform is urgently needed for people suffering from severe illnesses and pain.

"It really is a benefit for the veterans of Texas for those who are the tip of the spear keeping our country safe," Tanenbaum told CBS Austin.