Conventional wisdom would say that an 85-year-old, Republican-voting, Texas grandmother would be opposed to legalizing marijuana. But Houston activist Ann Lee wants to change that image, The Grio is reporting.
For years, Mrs. Lee toed the party line and opposed marijuana legalization, just like the vast majority of Republicans in Texas, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. That all changed when her son was in an accident and began taking medical marijuana for pain management.
“We realized marijuana wasn’t the weed of the devil, which I had been known to say.”
Since her son’s accident, Ann and her husband, Bob, have fought to have marijuana legalized in the Lone Star State. They started RAMP – Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition, and became outspoken advocates of pot legalization.
“In 1990, after a workplace accident that put her 28 year old son, Richard, in a wheelchair as a paraplegic, he stumbled upon research that showed marijuana as a possible relief for his severe nerve pain. Though Ann once believed marijuana to be a dangerous ‘gateway’ drug, she recognized the very real medical benefit that cannabis offered her son. Believing Richard and after a lot of research, Ann and Bob Lee began to question the illegality of marijuana and came to the conclusion that the plant was good medicine and ought to be legal.”
She admits that her activism has caught the attention of not just other Republicans, but also pot advocates in general.
“I don’t know whether it’s my age, the white hair, what is it, but it does seem to strike a chord. I’ve been an activist for many years, but I’ve never had the response that I’m now getting.”
Mrs. Lee became widowed last week, but she plans to continue her fight to legalize pot in Texas. She also plans to take her fight beyond the Lone Star State, to Washington, to advocate for pot legalization nationwide.
The grandmother, who admits that she has been known to sample a pot edible herself from time to time, may find herself friendless among Republicans in Congress — at least as far as pot legalization is concerned. Congressional Republicans have fought bitterly to prohibit recreational pot legalization in Washington, D.C., despite voters approving it, according to The Christian Science Monitor.
But Mrs. Lee has a message for the Republicans that she’s always supported: pot prohibition violates the very core belief of Republicans: that the government does not belong in individuals’ private lives.
“It’s not Republican to support prohibition. The government has no business telling you you cannot [smoke marijuana].”
[Image courtesy of: The Grio]