Got Compassion?

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The Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care, which was founded by Stephen Betzen in 2007 is a statewide group of compassionate Texans from all walks of life who advocate for the care of our sick, pained and dying through safe access to physician recommended medical marijuana (MMJ). The TCCC believes it is time to get our sick and dying loved ones, friends and neighbors off the battlefield of the failing "War on Drugs" and that they should not be used as stepping stones or pawns in the war that is being waged against Prohibition.  We are asking that both the sides of the legalization issue resolve to treat patients with respect in what may be the most trying times in their life.

Since its founding the TCCC has been active advocating for patients like the Editor of The Austin420 Vincent Lopez, our founder's wife Rachel, and the now deceased Tim Timmons through lobbying and educating Texas Legislators about the benefits and safety of Medical Marijuana as well as the need for our State Laws to reflect compassion for those who find relief from their suffering via the Cannabis plant. We have been able to help obtain needed media coverage for Medical Marijuana patients, such as Chris Cain, who have found themselves harassed by their local law enforcement and were also able to help bring press exposure to California MMJ patient, Chris Diaz's Texas Drug indictments. The TCCC drafted The Karen Heikkala Compassionate Care Act and sought sponsorship of the bill until the end of the 2011 Legislative Session. 

From 2011-13, the TCCC was able to work with Jim Willmann at the Texas Nurses' Associate in Austin to obtain an update TNA Statement of Support.  We are proud to share that with you here.


TNA believes alternative therapies and complementary modalities may be appropriate interventions to meet patient needs. Such therapies and modalities include the use of marijuana in appropriate medical situations such as helping patients manage chronic pain. Patients should have access to marijuana for such use and practitioners should have the right to counsel patients about the use of marijuana in appropriate medical situations. Adopted by TNA BOD, April 9, 2013

During the 2013 Regular Session, the TCCC was honored to be able to work with Representative Naishtat's office and TX NORML in coordinating witness testimonies for HB 594's hearing in the Public Health Committee this Legislative Session and are hopeful that we will not have to wait 8 years for the next time Texas Legislators allow the patients in their Constituencies to testify about their experiences using Medical Marijuana.  One of the most valuable lessons taken away by members of the TCCC who were able to participate in the legislative process this session was that as patient advocates, we need to reach out more broadly in communities, particularly the Republican Primary Voters in the rural areas for their support and plan to use the time between now and 2015 reaching those voters.

Since she has so much control over bills referred to the Public Health Committee, we are planning on making our first big push in Representative Lois W. Kolkhorst's District 13 at the historic Washington County Fair in Brenham, TX September 13th-21st to network with and support fellow compassionate Texans from Brenham we met during the 2013 Legislative Session, start conversations and hopefully educate their fellow constituents about the need for compassion while the Lone Star State is caught up not only in the "War on Drugs" but the "War Against Marijuana Prohibition" as well. 

DFW NOMRL honored the TCCC this year by inviting us to set up booths and provide speakers at both the Global Marijuana March they hosted in Ft Worth as well as the history making, first ever, Texas Regional NORML Conference.

Currently the Coalition holds open meetings on the second Saturday of each month in the DFW area but in the past we have held meeting in Houston, Austin and San Antonio as well.  The TCCC Board Members are willing to travel to meet with fellow compassionate Texans who would like to volunteer with us and hope to have active chapters across the state by the 2015 Legislative Session.  If you would like to learn more about us, please visit our wesite at (we could really use a volunteer webmaster) and join our Facebook group page: … We look forward to meeting and working with you. Come help us help Medical Marijuana patients in Texas.  ~