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Tx House Representative: Larry Gonzales

Autor:   •  March 11, 2018  •  1,765 Words (8 Pages)  •  9 Views

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2) My senator, Charles Schwertner, has authored S.B. 197 that says the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) is required to come up with a plan for themselves to become financially self-sufficient and to continue their research without state funding. CPRIT is required to provide the state with a structured way of how they will be receiving their funding. They must have this submitted to the legislature no later than December 1, 2016. In addition to require CPRIT to issue an annual public report, foundation donors to CPRIT’s fundraising arm would no longer be eligible for grants, and CPRIT officials would be prohibited from having business relationships with companies that benefit from grants. This bill is very important because cancer research investments provide significant societal and economical returns, and are essential to improving lives now and for future generations. CPRIT’s mission is to eventually make Texas a cancer free state, but in order to do so, they will certainly need a great deal of state funding. Cancer is an epidemic that is draining this state of its resources, in addition to exacting a devastating toll on our citizens. With this bill, it pushes companies like CPRIT to seek the funding they need rather than relying on the state legislature. Even though CPRIT is very costly, such as being empowered to spend $3 billion over 10 years, I don’t agree with this bill because CPRIT is trying to find a cure for and prevent cancer. You can’t put a price on saving someones life from such a disastrous disease, though it’s the second largest taxpayer-funded cancer research organization in the country. The legislature and the government should be spending their money on companies like CPRIT, who are only helping to find cures to cancer and trying to save peoples lives, rather than spending billions of tax dollars on undertaking concerns like military organizations and senseless war-mongering, which can lead to numerous amounts of deaths. I would change this bill by gradually decreasing the total amount of money alluded to CPRIT over a number of years, rather than cutting their funding altogether. In order for that to work, I would have to monitor their progress on finding other alternatives for funding.

My senator, Charles Schwertner, has authored S.B. 236 that says the drug known as “LSD” in Penalty Group 1-A, has been corrected so that if found in possession, or attempted to distribute, the offender can be prosecuted within the drug-free zones statutes. Currently, the sale or possession of Penalty Group 1, 2, 2-A, 3 and 4 drugs within a "drug-free zone" subjects an offender to an enhanced penalty. Held under Penalty Group 1A, hallucinogens like LSD could result a penalty of two years to life imprisonment with fines imposed of up to $250,000.00. As reported by medicaldaily.com, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, better known as LSD, is a psychedelic, hallucinogenic drug that was first synthesized in 1938 by Swiss chemist, Albert Hofmann. After accidentally absorbing a small amount of this drug through his fingertips, Hofmann became the first of many humans to experience the drugs impressive mood-changing abilities. This bill is very important because LSD, although is generally considered to have a low risk of death, can be very harmful to the mind, and is linked to numerous accidental deaths, suicides, and homicides. The human mind is completely altered once this drug is consumed. The consumer will then begin to see and hear things that are not actually there, putting the consumer into a state of hallucination; therefore, it is not safe for that person to be in an area such as a drug-free zone, not only for them, but for the sake of the people surrounding them. A person’s behavior is unpredictable under the influence of LSD, and varies depending on the dose, environment, and user. According to drugpolicy.org, by 2000, a draft analysis prepared by the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL) found that all 50 states and the District of Columbia had enacted statutes increasing penalties for drug offenses committed in prohibited zones surrounding schools and other public and quasi-public locations. I strongly agree with this bill, because it corrects an oversight that could lead to horrific accidents putting others in danger, and allows law enforcement to properly prosecute those who violate this law. In 1997, H.B. 1070, 75th Legislature, Regular Session, removed LSD's Penalty Group 1 classification and created Penalty Group 1-A to permit LSD to be punished on the basis of "abuse units" rather than weight. Dismally, the legislation creating Penalty Group 1-A did not also refer to this new section of law in the drug-free zones statute and LSD was effectively removed from the drug-free zone statute. It is believed this was an oversight. I would not make any changes to this bill, due to the fact that this bill is properly written and does not need to change. S.B. 236 is furthering the protection of drug-free zones in order to keep people in these areas safe.

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