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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Medical marijuana advocates in Texas are playing up support from non-traditional sources to push longshot legislation easing pot laws in the country’s largest conservative state.

Conservative Christian mothers of autistic children and veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder rallied outside the state Capitol Tuesday, entreating the Legislature to advance two bills legalizing medicinal cannabis.

Both groups said the plant could drastically curb symptoms associated with autism and PTSD, and possibly replace multiple drugs with harmful side effects.

Home to a large veteran population, Texas surprised many in 2015 by approving the use of cannabis oil to treat some forms of epilepsy. But Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said then that doing so “does not open the door to marijuana in Texas.”

That makes the GOP-controlled Legislature unlikely to consider the new bills.

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