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Texas Lawmaker Lies about Pot & Veteran Suicides to Block Medical Access

Texas Lawmaker Lies about Pot & Veteran Suicides to Block Medical Access
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Texas Lawmaker Lies about Pot & Veteran Suicides to Block Medical Access

70% of military veterans dead by suicide had THC in their systems, according to Donna Campbell, who appears to have made this fact up.

Donna Campbell is a licensed and practicing physician who represents a suburb of San Antonio in the Texas Senate. A Republican, Campbell has also been involved in Texas’s long, slow, and often onerous and arduous journey towards legalizing cannabis for medical purposes.

Campbell’s resume on the cannabis question is, in a word, diverse. It includes turns as both a reluctant and unreliable advocate — and now, according to recent reports, as a disingenuous adversary who saw fit to lie about veteran suicides in order to block expanded access for sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Earlier this spring, Texas lawmakers voted to expand access to the state’s extremely limited medical cannabis oil program. Previously available only to sufferers of intractable epilepsy — for whom access was no small feat even then — medical cannabis with little to no THC is now also available for sufferers of terminal cancer, autism and multiple sclerosis.

PTSD, a malady common among the millions of people who have become military veterans over the past 20 years of combating terrorism, might have been included in the bill.

At least that was the plan, before Campbell made a very bold claim during a debate on the matter — that 70% of the military veterans who have taken their own lives had THC in their systems.

Suicide by current and former members of the military is a very big deal. According to one regularly cited statistic, one pulled from Veterans Administration data, as many as 20 military veterans commit suicide every day. In normal countries, this would an epidemic, a public health crisis. In ours, it’s an excuse to not legalize medical cannabis.

“A study was done, a post-mortem, so a retrospective study done, looking at autopsies and drug levels, what drugs were in the blood of veterans that committed suicide, and 70% had THC,” the senator and doctor said, according to

A bold claim — and utterly baseless, as outlets including the Austin American Statesman pointed out. Campbell did not indicate the source for her claim because there is none. She made it up, out of whole cloth. Sen. Donna Campbell, M.D., lied outright in the Texas Senate, on record, in order to limit access to medical cannabis in Texas.

Why did she do this? Politifact tried to contact the senator several times before publishing an item rating her testimony as “not accurate” and making “a ridiculous claim,” its still-euphemistic terminology for an outright lie, a Texas-sized whopper, a dump-truck full of bullsh*t. So we can’t know, but we do know that Campbell appears to have it out for military veterans.

During a 2016 committee hearing on this exact same matter — allowing veterans with PTSD to access cannabis, a drug that many military veterans say is what brings them relief — Campbell stopped a military veteran mid-sentence.

“We already legalized medical cannabis,” said the senator, offering the beatific, “you are an idiot, sir” smile reserved for someone asking directions in a Walmart.

“Yeah… but it doesn’t help veterans,” the veteran responded, according to the Houston Press. “It helps intractable epileptic patients only. So…“

“Well,” Campbell interrupted again, “that is a subject for another day.”

Indeed, and a subject that Campbell, a fabulist, has no compunction about compromising her reputation in order to thwart.

Military veterans as well as secular humanists have descended on Campbell’s Facebook page to call her out because in addition to being a dishonest doctor, Campbell is also apparently a very proud Christian, who frequently posts this or that biblical reference. We seem to recall something in the Ten Commandments about this sort of thing. Then again, maybe Campbell has her own version of the Bible, too.

TELL US, where do you think the senator got her information?



  1. bryan

    July 19, 2019 at 10:57 am

    from the one’s that pay her the big money, big Pharma. she’s on the payroll like the rest of them keeping something illegal that actually helps, the only danger is a empty fridge.her and the rest of the law makers need to just look at the real reports to see how it helps.goodluck down there.

  2. scott manear

    July 19, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Wonder if she is getting kickbacks from the mexican cartels that be supplying weed in Tx.

  3. Richard A

    July 19, 2019 at 3:15 am

    From somewhere in the posterior area where it’s very dark and where it doesn’t smell very good from the sounds of it. The Texas legislature has forgotten who they represent, their personal bias and lack of educating themselves about cannabis over the heath and safety of all Texans including our military veterans ans first responders. Sad and pathetic, shame on all of you.

  4. YearofAction

    July 18, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    In addition to the perils of PTSD, it is likely that veterans who enlisted to defend the Constitution are also distraught by the federal government’s turning its back on them after their service, by prohibiting cannabis from them.

    When the U.S. Constitution was ratified by the States in 1787, the versatile and valuable, renewable natural resource that is the plant Cannabis sativa L., was widely grown and used by people, and the Commerce Clause originally envisioned cannabis commerce. The Bill of Rights originally intended for people to continue to grow and carefully use cannabis. Later, the 14th Amendment established exclusive privileges and immunities for citizens, both freeborn and newly emancipated, to continue to grow cannabis.

    It is the malformed federal definition of marijuana, which surreptitiously prohibited cannabis at the federal level that provided cover for states like Texas to establish their own prohibition of marijuana, which also surreptitiously prohibited cannabis at the local level, in contravention of the 9th, 10th, and 14th Amendments. The lies from state lawmakers help to keep the overreaching prohibition in place.

    Veterans who are distraught or contemplating suicide, as well as their supporters, should contact their members of Congress about reconstructing the malformed federal definition of marijuana to carefully deschedule cannabis and to uphold our U.S. Constitution, like this:

    The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L. which is, as are the viable seeds of such plant, prohibited to be grown by or sold by any publicly traded corporation or subsidiary company, and such smoke is prohibited to be inhaled by any child or by any person bearing any firearm, as is the intake of any part or any product of such plant containing more than 0.3% THC by weight unless prescribed to such child by an authorized medical practitioner.

    The current (and each previous) federal definition of marijuana is malformed because it adumbrates the actual meaning of marijuana, with a riddle embedded within the definition. A definition that adumbrates its meaning cannot be a “necessary and proper” federal law, precisely because it can be (and will be – that’s the point) misconstrued.

    The adumbrated meaning can be recognized by solving the embedded riddle: What is “all parts of the plant”, and simultaneously “does not include the mature stalks”? Marijuana is not a plant to be grown, cannabis is. The “marijuana plant” is cannabis, just as the “hemp plant” is cannabis. Cannabis is used for marijuana, for hemp, and other purposes. Conflating marijuana with the “marijuana plant” is plainly wrong, but apparently good enough for government work.

    The DEA enforces that conflation because their Chief Administrative Law Judge wrote it in a footnote, in his 1988 Opinion: “Throughout this opinion the term ‘marijuana’ refers to “the marijuana plant as a whole’.” His judgement to reschedule marijuana was overruled, but the footnote lives on.

    He also claimed that “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.” He neglected to clarify the claim, which is that marijuana in its natural form is called cannabis, and cannabis in its smoked form is called marijuana, because the footnoted statement was an agreement he reached with the parties that requested his official Opinion. Effectively, it was a cover-up by ommision.

    Marijuana prohibition does not require cannabis prohibition. Cannabis can be carefully descheduled at the federal level, while retaining marijuana prohibition. Simply reconstructing the malformed federal definition of Schedule 1 marijuana will carefully deschedule cannabis for veterans, cannabis researchers, and other adults.

    As shown above, the necessary and proper reconstruction will reveal the adumbrated meaning by clearly describing how marijuana is actually derived from cannabis, while also preserving the legitimate federal prohibitions that control the undesired proliferation of marijuana. This will first carefully deschedule cannabis while retaining the Schedule 1 status of marijuana itself. Marijuana will then await an evaluation of the adulterated medical value that it derives from cannabis to separately determine whether to also deschedule marijuana, or to reschedule it.

    This is the current malformed definition of Schedule 1 marijuana to be reconstructed, from the Farm Bill of 2018:

    (16)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), the term “marihuana” means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin.
    (B) The term “marihuana” does not include (i) hemp, as defined in section 297A of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946; or (ii) the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.

    This is the definition of hemp from the Farm Bill of 2018. Notice that its definition mentions THC, but the definition of marijuana does not. That could mean that cannabis with over 0.3% THC is not hemp, but it is also not marijuana, it would just be cannabis:

    SEC. 297A.(1) HEMP. The term “hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

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