A Texas lawmaker hopes to bring a comprehensive medical marijuana program to the Lone Star state.
Earlier this week, State Senator Jose Menendez filed a piece of legislation aimed at giving patients with a variety of medical conditions access to cannabis medicine. The proposal, which would make Texas the 29th state in the nation to put a comprehensive plan into place, is designed to provide cannabis access to those suffering from “debilitating and chronic medical conditions.”
While the details of the bill have yet to be published, a report from KHOU in Houston suggests that it would give patients the freedom to use various types of cannabis products -- not placing too much of an emphasis on possession limits.
"Doctors, not politicians, should be determining what is best for Texas patients," Menéndez said in a statement. "This is legitimate medicine that can help a of variety people, from the grandmother suffering from cancer to the veteran coping with PTSD after returning home from war."
The proposal would build off the state’s existing low-THC cannabis law (Compassionate Use Act), for which Menendez was a co-sponsor, and establish a tightly regulated marketplace that would be overseen by the Texas Department of Safety.
Despite the fact that the Texas Legislature is controlled by conservative forces, which have been less than enthusiastic about any bill related to pot reform, Menendez’ office says they are “cautiously optimistic” that the bill will be given some consideration.
"Twenty-eight states have recognized the medical benefit of cannabis, including conservative states like Arkansas, Montana, and North Dakota," Senator Menéndez said. "It's time Texas steps up to the plate and provide real relief for our suffering patients."
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has said that he does not support any plan to expand the state’s medical marijuana program. But Menendez hopes to get him to reconsider if his bill successfully makes it through the jaws of legislative jackals in the upcoming session.