State Representative Brad Buckley, R-Salado, delivered remarks and answered questions at a conference hosted by Texas Veterans for Medical Marijuana at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center on Saturday.
Buckley was originally scheduled to appear at noon, but had to delay Gov. Greg Abbot’s stop in Salado on Saturday to assess damage from a tornado earlier this week.
Buckley recounted how he met with band members David Bass and others to talk about their experiences using marijuana as a treatment for their PTSD and other medical issues.
“This issue is important to the people in my district,” Buckley told a crowd of about 40 people at the event. “And we will continue this fight, so to speak.”
Buckley, who is a veterinarian in Killeen, spoke about the science of using marijuana for medical purposes.
“Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease,” Buckley said.
Buckley explained how he changed his stance on the use of medicinal marijuana after speaking with members of Texas Veterans for Medical Marijuana.
“I know when someone is directing the company line at me, but I can tell when someone is sitting there and talking and you can see their eyes hurt and say ‘there’s medicine. who helps me, please help me get access to this is what moves me,” Buckley said in response to a question from an audience member.
Buckley has previously said he favors medical marijuana in Texas, but not recreational use.
Buckley’s opponent in the upcoming November election for the State House District 54 seat, Jonathan Hildner, D-Killeen, was also at the event.
Also in attendance was Julie Oliver, a former congressional candidate from Austin known for her efforts to decriminalize marijuana in both Austin and Killeen; and Bell County Commissioner Place 4 candidate Chris Bray.
“Are you in favor of full legalization? Oliver asked Buckley when he was on stage.
“No, I don’t,” Buckley said.
There were grumblings among the public after Buckley said he was not in favor of full legalization and said his reasoning was because it can affect the brain development of young children.
There was back and forth between Buckley and a few onlookers, but he remained in a positive mood.
“I appreciate that back and forth, that’s how we learn,” Buckley said.
Hildner, Buckley’s opponent in the Nov. 8 general election, has previously said he favors recreational marijuana use in Texas.
“I think we can easily show our veterans that this is proven and working, and then hopefully, for the rest of our citizens across the district,” Hildner told the Herald in January. “…not only will it stimulate our economy because then you can tax the sale of it, but it will, again, create spaces and reform our criminal justice system which has convicted so many.”