KILLEEN, Texas — Army retiree Maj. David Bass was a member of the United States Army for 25 years, from 1985 until 2006. He served in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“I got these symptoms that I didn’t understand when I returned to Fort Hood,” Bass explained. “Army physicians diagnosed me with post-traumatic stress disorder, a diagnosis I never expected to be diagnosed with.” As a result, physicians administered psychotropic medicines to treat PTSD. In addition, I was prescribed opioids for chronic pain caused by injuries I had while serving in the military. I was handled by the veterans administration in Temple when I retired. After a few years, I was sick of those medicines. The adverse effects bothered me. So I conducted some research for alternatives to drugs and came upon medicinal cannabis.”

In 2012, he informed his VA doctor that he wanted to quit taking the medicines to which he had grown hooked. He said the doctor informed him he couldn’t, so he began his own investigation into cannabis. That year, he began taking it illegally.

“I had stopped taking the tablet by the end of 2012,” Bass explained. “I demonstrated to myself that cannabis is an excellent treatment for PTSD.” Medical cannabis alleviated the symptoms of nightmares, insomnia, rage outbursts, paranoia, and hypervigilance.”

In 2012, Bass joined Texas NORML, a cannabis reform non-profit. He was appointed director of veteran outreach in 2013. Two years later, in 2015, he created Texas Veterans for Medical Marijuana. Since then, he has been an outspoken supporter of medicinal marijuana.

PTSD was not added to the list of eligible disorders for medicinal marijuana usage until 2021. Bass has been smoking cannabis illegally for over a decade in Texas.

“I now have a medicinal cannabis prescription in Texas, which is fantastic,” Bass added. “It’s a wonderful thing that has altered my life for the better because I don’t want to use cannabis illegally; I want to use it legitimately.”

Bass wants Congress to adopt a decriminalisation measure in addition to boosting access to medical marijuana. He believes that Texans should not be arrested for possessing tiny quantities of cannabis.

“It wrecks people’s life because, even if they’re not going to prison, they have an arrest.” They are convinced. They had to employ an attorney. “They’re on probation,” replied Bass. “Their career, schooling, and housing are all affected by their arrest and conviction.” We just do not believe that the punishment reflects the crime of possessing small amounts of cannabis for personal use.”

He also favours the legalisation and regulation of marijuana for recreational use. Susan Hays, the Democratic candidate for Agriculture Commissioner in Texas, concurs.

“Whether it’s someone in terrible pain, or a middle-aged person like myself who wants to sleep through the night, or someone who just wants to unwind at the end of the day and realises that cannabis is healthier for the body than alcohol,” Hays added. “As a result, we should regulate it and make it legal.” Those two go together. And put strict controls in place around the medical programme so that physicians take it seriously, patients take it seriously, and they can obtain the correct doses and formulations that work for them, their illness, and the stage of that ailment.”

Cannabis is already widely available in Texas.

“According to Gallup polling, two million Texans frequently consume cannabis products,” Hays stated. “And, because to the 2018 Farm Bill, which may have done a terrible job of distinguishing between hemp and marijuana, cannabis edibles, whether Delta-8 or Delta-9, are now widely available in Texas.” We want a comprehensive, well-thought-out regulatory framework to promote public health and safety, protect consumers, and give some economic opportunity for Texans interested in entering the cannabis industry.”

People who travel to other states where cannabis is legal, according to Hays, bring items back to Texas.

“Too many people have their heads buried in the sand.” “Cannabis is here,” she declared. “And that includes really lovely suburbanites flying back from Colorado with whatever they purchased in a lawful state.” [Cannabis] is now legal in New Mexico. Oklahoma’s ostensibly medicinal cannabis programme is so permissive that it might as well be legal. So cannabis is flowing over Texas borders, but not the ones Greg Abbott wants to fortify with a wall. And, once again, we must address a problem rather than simply hurling political slogans at it.”