HEWITT - Local marijuana reform advocates are urging lawmakers to consider changing Texas' restrictions on the drug during the upcoming 2017 legislative session.
The push comes just days after voters in eight states passed marijuana law changes, bringing the total number of states where medical marijuana is legal to 28.
Karen Reeves, who lives in Hewitt, swears medical marijuana saved her life by helping her cope with chronic pain and heart disease.
"It saved my life, and I want to help others realize they could tell their story," Reeves, who runs the CenTex Community Outreach group -- which advocates for marijuana reform -- said Monday. "And, it's okay to want to change the laws. We're not breaking the law by speaking out."
Monday, which marked the first day of filings bills for the 2017 legislative session, ended with several lawmakers submitting proposals that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in Texas. Even so, most state legislators oppose changes to the marijuana law.
State Representative Doc Anderson (R, District 56) told Channel Six he polled his constituents and found nearly 80 percent of them were against making marijuana legal.
"There's overwhelming opposition to going forward with that in district 56," the Republican lawmaker said.
Representative-elect Hugh Shine (R, District 55) echoed Anderson's perspective.
"I look around at other states, and yes they have passed legislation for medical marijuana, but it's become a means for recreational use," Shine said.
In the meantime, advocates like Reeves are vowing to push for changes at the state level.
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