Pushing for pot - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Pushing for pot

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

The man who bankrolled California's attempt to legalize marijuana is talking about pursuing the same goal in Texas.

Richard Lee was in Houston on Friday, leading a meeting with likeminded people who are pushing to change pot laws.

Lee evolved into an advocate for medicinal marijuana after he became a paraplegic because of a tumble from a rock concert lighting rig in 1990.

"I had a spinal cord injury," said Richard Lee, "and I found that cannabis helps with the spasticity. It's a muscle relaxant."

Lee soon founded a pot empire called "Oaksterdam" in California, which okayed medical marijuana in 1996.

His efforts to persuade Californians to legalize the drug for recreational use failed at the ballot box in 2010.

But earlier this month, both Washington and Colorado passed similar measures regulating and taxing pot.

And Richard Lee is rallying his troops to change laws in Texas, which he admits is a long shot.

Regardless, at this point any marijuana use remains illegal under federal law. And few know that better than Richard Lee.

He relinquished leadership of his successful cluster of marijuana businesses in April, after they were raided by federal agents.

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