Mothers ask Texas GOP to take Delta-8 off the shelves, keep cannabis illegal in the state

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Aubree Adams flew from Colorado to Texas to represent Citizens for a Safe and Healthy Texas at the GOP convention in San Antonio this week, advocating for marijuana to stay illegal in the state.

Adam’s described Colorado — which joined Washington as one of the first two states to legalize recreational cannabis in 2012 — as “ground zero of the marijuana expansion movement.”

Adams and Citizens for a Safe and Healthy Texas also echoed calls from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick who wants state senators to look at banning Delta-8 and Delta-9 products, which can deliver similar highs to THC and are legal through a loophole.

“We’re trying to ban all the Delta THC variants that are in our smoke shops, gas stations, and vape shops, they’re poisonous to our children,” Adams said. “We’re also here to ask Texans to hold the line. We don’t want to expand any more marijuana policies here to become like California, Colorado.”

Adams also has personal experience with cannabis and said she moved to Houston from Colorado after her son became addicted to marijuana and had episodes of psychosis, which caused aggressive behaviors.

She said her husband also tried cannabis.

“My husband also thought marijuana was medicine,” she said. “He thought it would help depression and panic attacks, but it ended up robbing the reward system of his brain, caused severe depression and suicide ideation. It put him on a pathway to pharmaceutical drugs. He was never on pharmaceutical drugs before he started using marijuana.”

Adams said after three years of sobriety her son relapsed off of the Delta-8 products and that she didn’t see him for two years. Adams eventually moved back to Colorado to be near family but misses the Lone Star state.

“I love Texas, I feel relaxed, connected here. When I go to Colorado I don’t fit in because I’m a common sense person and they’re got some radical point of views there,” Adams said. “The policies we’re asking for, for a Safe and Healthy Texas doesn’t want Texas to legalize marijuana.”

Sitting next to Adams for most of the week was Sonia Jimenez of Houston, who said she lost her son to cannabis.

Jimenez described her son Josh as a smart kid who had scholarships and “could’ve gone to college anywhere in the country” but began smoking weed in high school.

She said he then lost ambition, moved out of her house after high school so he could smoke even more, did not go to college and began struggling at work.

Jimenez then said Josh began developing psychosis and started hearing voices, one of which he thought was God telling him to go to Los Angeles.

Jimenez said he blew his savings to go to Los Angeles but he quickly realized he couldn’t afford to stay there so she got him a bus ticket to return from Los Angeles to Houston.

On the way back to Houston, Josh took his own life two days before Christmas 2021, when he stepped in front of a train in Pecos, Texas.

Jimenez said he was using Delta 8 products before his death.

“This stuff is the modern crack,” said Jimenez, 56, who added that the marijuana on the market these days is nothing like it used to be “back in her day.”

She also blamed the cannabis industry for making more potent strains to make higher profits and not being held accountable.

“The government doesn’t care,” Jimenez said. “The marijuana industry doesn’t care.”

Jimenez said she came to the convention to share her story and warn about the dangers of cannabis, especially the products currently legal in Texas.

“People are brainwashed to think it’s safe,” Jimenez said.

Both Jimenez and Adams said the response they got was positive.

“I would say 95, 96 percent of the people here support what I say. It’s a no-brainier. It’s common sense. That’s who Texans are. They also don’t want to grow their government here,” Adams said.

While the halls of the center had many people sporting pins handed out by Citizens for a Safe and Healthy Texas — which said “Don’t California my Texas” with a crossed out cannabis leaf — the issue of cannabis did not make it on the 15 legislative priorities list, set to be approved this week.

Recreational use of marijuana is legal in 24 states and the District of Columbia.