TX: Patient Activist Vincent Lopez’s Moving Speech for Cannabis Freedom

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Photo Courtesy: Texas NORML

Texas NORML’s Patient Outreach Director and publisher of The Austin 420, Vincent Lopez, was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at age 11. He’s defied the odds in not letting illness stand in the way of his ambitions in bringing forth a new way of thinking, a new sense of awareness, and a new stance on having pride in defending the thousands who suffer with illness each and every day of their lives.

This past weekend in Austin at the Texas State Capitol, Lopez gave a moving and rousing speech (video courtesy of Chronic Relief and sent to us by Vincent). It was not only about cannabis freedom but liberty for all. Please give a listen and share with your community:

Transcription of the speech can be found below.

Here’s Vincent accepting the Renee Wolf Memorial Award at the NORML Women’s Alliance (NWA) luncheon at the NORML Conference in Los Angeles in 2012, presented by NWA Board members Diane Fornbacher and Kyndra Miller (video courtesy DFW NORML):

SPEECH TRANSCRIPTION FROM THE MARIJUANA MARCH:

HELLO MY FELLOW BROTHERS AND SISTERS, CAN YOU FEEL WHAT’S IN THE AIR? CAN YOU FEEL THE ESSENCE OF YOUR ENERGY AND THE SPIRIT OF YOUR FIGHT? CAN YOU FEEL THE PASSION AND FIRE IN YOUR CANNABIS INSPIRED HEARTS?

WE’VE COME TOGETHER TO BE THE VOICE FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT, FOR THOSE PERSECUTED AND CONDEMNED, FOR THE CHILDREN WHO ARE SICKLY FLEEING ONTO THE TEXAS EXODUS, BEING SEPARATED FROM THEIR FAMILIES, CONSCIOUSLY UNAWARE OF WHAT IS AFFLICTING THEM!

IT’S ABOUT MOLDING THAT BALL OF CLAY, WHERE THE CULMINATION OF OUR EFFORTS CAN HARNESS THE ENERGY AND THE MOMENTUM,TO FIGHT FOR OUR CAUSE, OUR FREEDOM OF CHOICE AND ALLOW NOTHING TO STAND IN OUR WAY!

WHAT IS THIS THAT I SYMBOLIZE? WHAT IS THIS THAT I REPRESENT? I REPRESENT A VOICE OF PATIENT EMPOWERMENT AND ADVOCACY, A VOICE OF HEART, KNOWLEDGE AND COMPASSION, REPRESENTING THE MEDICAL CANNABIS PATIENTS OF TEXAS!

THE TIME HAS COME TO TRANSCEND OURSELVES BEYOND THE RESTRAINTS OF FEAR AND INTIMIDATION, BEYOND THE BARRIERS OF IDLENESS AND FRUSTRATION, BEYOND THE SILENCE OF DISEASE AND DISABILITY!

THAT TIME HAS COME TO PROTECT SERIOUSLY ILL PATIENTS FROM ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT, ESPECIALLY WHEN HEARING THE STORIES OF OTHER STATES SUBJECTING PATIENTS TO PROSECUTION FOR THEIR MEDICINAL USE!

THERE IS NO GREATER PRICE THAN THE PRICE OF FREEDOM, FOR I FIGHT FOR MY FREEDOM UPON EACH DAY I WAKE, NOT BY THE LAW OF THE LAND BUT BY THE LAW OF ILLNESS! THAT IS WHAT DICTATES MY DAY, WHAT CALLS THE SHOTS!

THERE IS NO MAN, NO LAW GREATER THAN THE ETERNAL CONFRONTATION OF DISEASE, WHAT I MYSELF AND MANY OTHERS ARE HAVING TO FACE TODAY!

FOR SOME THERE IS NO TURNING BACK AND WHILE OUR DRAGONS MAY CONSUME OUR BODIES, KNOW THAT THEY WILL NEVER CONSUME OUR SPIRIT, OUR COURAGE TO SEEK THE MEDICINE IN CANNABIS THAT IS HELPING US!

IF YOU CAN RELATE, THEN YOU KNOW OF THE PRICE, OF THE ONCOMING STORM, OF THE DARKNESS AND OF THE DRAGON THAT LURKS WITHIN!

THE SOLE INTENT OF DISEASE IS TO BE A WHISPER IN THE EAR, TO REMIND YOU OF YOUR DIFFICULTY AND ALL THAT YOU SHOULD FEAR; THAT YOUR ONLY PURPOSE IN LIFE IS TO SIMPLY WAIT TO DIE!

DISEASE IS AN ACT OF CONSUMPTION WITH A NON-DISCRIMINATE NATURE THAT CAN AFFECT OUR FAMILIES, FRIENDS, COWORKERS, OUR CHILDREN, AND EVEN OURSELVES!

IT’S A BATTLE BEYOND IMAGINATION AND COMPREHENSION, A SACRIFICE TO ITS AFFLICTIONS THAT CAN BE DETRIMENTAL TO THAT OF LIFE, THE BODY, MIND, AND SOUL!

WE HAVE A SACRED VALUE IN ACCEPTING WHAT ONE CANNOT CHANGE, IN ACCEPTING WHAT ONE CANNOT ALTER, IN NOT TAKING OUR ABILITIES FOR GRANTED.

IT’S A TRUE TEST OF COURAGE AND THE DARKEST OF PATHS WE’RE WILLING TO TAKE TO OVERCOME AND CONQUER THE OBSTACLES THAT STAND IN OUR WAY!

FEAR AND INTIMIDATION IS AN ALL TOO REAL EXPERIENCE WHEN COMING OUT OF THE CANNABIS CLOSET, BUT NOTHING COMPARES TO THE WEIGHT ONE CARRIES BY NOT COMING OUT, BY NOT SAYING ANYTHING, BY LIVING LIFE IN SECRET!

WITH 76% OF U.S. DOCTORS IN FAVOR OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA, THERE ARE MANY COMING OUT ACROSS THE COUNTRY, BUT WE HAVE MANY HERE IN TEXAS WHO STILL LIVE UNDER THAT SHADOW, BUT TIMES ARE CHANGING, THEREFORE WE SHALL NOT SWAY FROM OUR EFFORTS!

WE SHALL GO THE ONES WHO SUFFER, GO TO THE ONES WHO’VE BEEN NEGLECTED, ABUSED, AND MISUNDERSTOOD, GO TO ONES CONSCIOUSLY UNAWARE OF THEIR TRUE POTENTIAL, GO TO ONES LOST FROM THE KNOWLEDGE OF NATURE’S MEDICINAL TRUTH!

WE DIDN’T ASK TO BE PUT ON THIS BATTLEFIELD, PITTING POLICY AGAINST PATIENTS; WE DIDN’T ASK TO SUFFER THESE REPERCUSSIONS OF FEAR, DISEASE, AND INCARCERATION!

IT’S NOT LIKE WE CAN PUT OUR CONDITION ON A BACK-SHELF AND ACT LIKE IT’S NOT THERE! REMEMBER, TAKING THAT FIRST STEP IS TRULY WHERE THE FIRST ACT OF EMPOWERMENT BEGINS! IT’S ABOUT INCREASING OUR CAPACITY TO MAKE CHOICES AND TO TRANSFORM THOSE CHOICES INTO DESIRED ACTIONS AND OUTCOMES.

EMPOWERMENT IS A PROCESS OF AWARENESS THAT LEADS TO ACCEPTANCE, KNOWLEDGE, MANNER, AND SELF-DISCIPLINE; THE GREATER OUR SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SELF-DISCIPLINE, THE LOWER OUR FEARS AND INTIMIDATION WILL BE IN MAKING THE CHANGE WE SEEK. WE MUST EVOLVE OURSELVES, LEARN FROM THE MISTAKES OF OTHERS, AND STAY FOCUSED TO THE SOLE-OBJECTIVE THAT NOT ONLY FUELS OUR PURPOSE, BUT ALSO FUELS THE TRIAL AND TRUTH THAT WE ALL EMBODY! WE NEED TO ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER, OUR SENIORS, OUR VETERANS, OUR PATIENTS, OUR FELLOW BROTHERS AND SISTERS, OUR FAMILIES; 2015 ISN’T FAR AWAY BUT NEITHER IS 2017!

IF THERE’S AN ANSWER IN CANNABIS FOR THE PAINFUL MUSCLE SPASMS, IF THERE’S AN ANSWER IN CANNABIS FOR THE STIFFNESS AND CONTORTION I ENDURE, IF THERE’S AN ANSWER IN CANNABIS FOR THE LOSS OF SLEEP AND LOSS OF APPETITE, THEN I SHALL NOT STAY SILENT! THIS IS MY BODY AND HOW I CHOOSE TO ALLEVIATE MY PAINS IS SOLELY UP TO ME! PATIENTS FOR WHOM THE STANDARD, LEGAL DRUGS ARE NOT SAFE OR EFFECTIVE ARE LEFT WITH TWO TERRIBLE CHOICES, EITHER CONTINUE TO SUFFER OR OBTAIN MARIJUANA ILLEGALLY AND RISK SUFFERING THE CONSEQUENCES. THE CANNONS OF TRUTH ARE UPON YOU WHEN HARSH, UNCOMPASSIONATE LAWS CRIMINALIZE PATIENTS FOR USING THEIR MEDICINE; THE CANNONS OF TRUTH ARE UPON YOU WHEN ARGUING THAT SICK PEOPLE SHOULD CONTINUE TO SUFFER IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN! IF THEY WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE CHILDREN, THEN LET’S TALK ABOUT THE CHILDREN!

THE CANNONS OF TRUTH ARE UPON YOU WHEN A LITTLE GIRL NAMED CHARLOTTE FIGI IN COLORADO, WHO SUFFERED UP TO 300 SEIZURES A WEEK DUE TO A SEVERE FORM OF INTRACTABLE EPILEPSY, IS NOW SEIZURE FREE DUE TO A HIGH CBD/LOW THC STRAIN OF CANNABIS OIL, APPROPRIATELY NAMED CHARLOTTE’S WEB, AFTER HER! THE CANNONS OF TRUTH ARE UPON YOU THROUGH THE EYES OF MANY OTHER CHILDREN JUMPING ONTO THE TEXAS EXODUS TO COLORADO, HAVING NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO RELOCATE, DUE TO THE ILLEGALITY OF MEDICAL CANNABIS HERE IN TEXAS! THE CANNONS OF TRUTH ARE UPON YOU WHEN THE MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF CANNABIS CAN BRING A LITTLE CHILD OUT OF AN EPILEPTIC CATATONIC STATE, OUT OF THE DARKNESS, TO WHERE HER PARENTS CAN MEET HER FOR THE FIRST TIME! THE CANNONS OF TRUTH ARE UPON YOU WHEN WE LOOK INTO THAT’S CHILD’S EYES, AND SEE “THAT ALONE” IS WORTH THE SACRIFICE OF OUR OWN LIVES AND WHAT WE ARE FIGHTING FOR; I WOULD GLADLY GIVE MY LIFE FOUR TIMES OVER THAN TO SEE A CHILD TO SUFFER.

IT’S NECESSARY TO REVEAL THE TRUTH OF WHAT ONE ENDURES; IT CAN OPEN THE EYES OF THOSE BLIND TO THE TRIALS OF DISEASE AND DISABILITY, WHAT THEY HAVE NEVER GONE THROUGH FIRSTHAND! AS WARRIORS CAUGHT ON THIS BATTLEFIELD, IT IS IMPERATIVE TO GAIN VICTORY OVER WHAT IS DESTRUCTIVE IN OUR LIVES AND BECOME AN EMISSARY FOR WHAT IS GOOD IN OUR LIVES. A WARRIOR OF THE SPIRIT STANDS UP FOR AND DEFENDS WHAT IS RIGHT, DEFENDS THE INNOCENT, AND LIVES FOR HONOR AND JUSTICE. WE HONOR THOSE WHO PROTECT US, WHO ARE WILLING TO SACRIFICE THEMSELVES FOR OUR DEFENSE; WHO STRIVE TO LIVE WITH INTEGRITY AND HONOR AND PRACTICE THE DISCIPLINE TO DO SO. SPIRITUAL WARFARE IS NOT ABOUT BRASHLY MARCHING FORWARD TO CONQUER THE WORLD WITH OUR OWN AGENDA OR ABOUT FORCING OUR WILL! WE NEED TO THINK OF THE BIG PICTURE FOR OUR ACTIONS OF TODAY GREATLY AFFECT THE OUTCOMES OF TOMORROW AND FUTURE GENERATIONS TO COME!

NO REAL LEGALIZATION CAN EVER EXISTS UNLESS IT PROTECTS THE RIGHTS OF ALL, REGARDLESS OF OUR INDIVIDUAL CHOICE FOR HOW WE USE IT. WE NEED TO KEEP WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT EACH WORD OF WHAT WE EXPRESS HAS ITS OWN POWER AND PLACE, THEREFORE, WE MUST BE MINDFUL OF WHAT WE EXPRESS AND THE MANNER IN WHICH IT’S EXPRESSED IN! WE MUST HAVE AN AWARENESS OF OUR OWN STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES, AN ACCURATE UNDERSTANDING OF THE PROCESSES OF LEGISLATION, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, WE MUST SEEK A HIGHER AIM THAN JUST MOMENTARY SATISFACTION! WE CANNOT ASCEND BEYOND THE ENTRAPMENT OF ISOLATION, BEYOND THE CLUTCHES OF DESOLATION AND FEAR IF WE CONTINUE TO ALLOW THE REPERCUSSIONS THEY BRING ONTO US. IT’S IN HOW WE WIELD OUR INNER STRENGTH, OUR SPIRITUAL SWORD THAT ENABLES US ALL TO CONFRONT THESE DEMONS AND DRAGONS SO COURAGEOUSLY AND WITHOUT FEAR!

HOW MUCH LONGER SHALL WE SUFFER THESE INJUSTICES? HOW MUCH LONGER SHALL WE ENDURE THE DEATH OF OUR LIBERTIES? HOW MUCH LONGER SHALL WE WITHSTAND THE WRETCHEDNESS AND CONSUMPTION OF DISEASE? IT’S ABOUT FACING THE DRAGON EYE-TO-EYE AND CONQUERING THE ULTIMATE CHESS GAME FROM WITHIN, NOT ABOUT TURNING AWAY OUT OF FEAR OR DENIAL. IT’S ABOUT BECOMING SOMETHING YOU THOUGHT YOU NEVER COULD BE, AND TAKING TO HEART, “THAT WHICH DOESN’T KILL US ONLY MAKES US STRONGER!” WE WILL WIN BY NO LONGER ALLOWING THESE MIGHTY MOUNTAINS OF DESPERATION TO EXISTS, BY CONTINUING TO FIGHT THESE UNSEEN BATTLES AND SETTING OURSELVES FREE FROM THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR FEAR, FROM THE DEPRAVITIES OF OUR SILENCE! WE WILL WIN BY CONQUERING THE JOURNEY, BY BEING THAT BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE, BY BEING THAT MAGICIAN, BY BEING THAT MACHINE; AND SIMPLY, BY MAKING OURSELVES IMMORTAL! FREE THE LEAF AND THANK YOU MY FRIENDS!