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Austin Council Could Back Medical Marijuana Legislation

Updated: Tuesday, June 24 2014, 06:40 PM CDT

The Austin City Council could formally push the legislature to legalize medical marijuana.

Two council members, Mike Martinez and Bill Spelman, have come out in support of the resolution. 

So far 23 States have said weed for medicinal purposes is ok. The most recent is New York.

Could Texas be next?

"If the health benefits that come with its use can benefit our community, why wouldn't we be in support of it?" said Martinez.

Martinez says there is ample evidence the drug benefits people suffering from chronic pain, nausea and muscle spasms.

That's why he wants the city to lobby for it. 

"We are simply asking the council to add this to our legislative priorities as a bill that we would support," said Martinez.

In other states parents have voiced their opinions for change.

"There is a medicine available to help him. It's dangling in front of us. We are watching all these children in all of these different states get hope," said New York mom Missy Miller.

A recent Scripps-Howard poll indicated that 75 percent of Texans would support legislation allowing people with serious illnesses to use medical marijuana.

Those numbers are why State Representative Elliott Naishtat is proposing a bill next session to create an affirmative defense for people using pot for a medical condition.

"The judge could look at you and say, you are obviously not a criminal, this is helping you. I am going to dismiss the charges," said Naishtat.

Governor Rick Perry has said he opposes legalization, but he does support lesser penalties.

"I have introduced this bill six times in the past and I always believe that seven is the charm," said Naishtat.

As for city backing that decision will come Thursday when council votes on the resolution.

By Christie Post

Austin Council Could Back Medical Marijuana Legislation

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