On Oct 6th, a room was filled at a Houston restaurant with those that had been invited to watch the premiere of a new documentary.
Ann’s story is a rallying cry to cannabis activism in Texas. Ann is passionate about her feelings of betrayal at learning that everything she had believed about the evils of marijuana was a lie when faced with her son in a wheelchair, telling his parents he was moving to California so he could legally use medical cannabis for the pain he dealt with instead of Opioids. I’ll let her tell the rest of her story.
I first heard Ann speak out at the Can Cannabis help veterans with PTSD? event held at the Baker Institute shortly after the Texas Monthly Article War Without End came out. I was new to Texas from California and incredibly shell shocked and raw that night. That article was the first time I had even told my story to anyone outside my close family circle. I had two service friends with me to help me get through it. Hearing Ann’s choked emotion brought me to tears as she asked the anti-cannabis legislator if she knew WHY cannabis had been made illegal? Did she know it was based on corporate greed and racism? Did she know it was the new Jim Crow laws? I listened in wonder to this amazing senior blast the prohibitionist representative about the injustice of prohibition. And she was a Republican too! And she was head of a group of them! She became a hero to me that night.
I was later deeply honored to lobby side by side with Ann at the Texas State Capitol in Austin last legislative session. Watching her in action talking with legislators was amazing and humbling. Even those that staunchly disagreed with her were very respectful. She inspired me even more to tell my story to legislators about how cannabis helps me as a veteran.
I was also at the decriminalization hearings last year when Ann Lee testified on bill 2165 by David Simpson that would have totally repealed prohibition of marijuana in Texas. She visibly moved several of the committee members with her testimony. Ann had lost her husband a very short time before that night and yet was there in his memory. In fact, it was on their very anniversary that she was testifying late in the evening. She almost clouted the unfortunate Sheriff Travis with her cane when he tried to be condescending to her as they were leaving the witness table after his inaccurate and ill-informed testimony that had aggravated Ann. It was thrilling.Here is a link to her testimony.
So this is her story and it’s not finished. She says not until cannabis prohibition is totally repealed.
You rock Ann Lee!
By Romana Harding – Veterans Outreach Director