One Texas lawmaker is taking advantage of a special session to resurrect the medical marijuana debate.
Last week, Governor Gregg Abbott sent out a legislative “bat signal” to state lawmakers forcing them to return to Austin on July 18 for a month long special session. The situation, which, according to ABC-affiliate KVUE, came as no surprise to all parties involved, prompted Representative Eddie Lucio III to show up this week packing a proposal aimed at establishing a comprehensive medical marijuana program.
“My staff and I are ready to consider and vote on all bills during this Special Session,” Lucio III said in a Facebook post on Monday.
“But I believe there are just as important items that must be addressed in our state, so important that I too have filed a bill crucial to so many people across the state and across our nation,” he added.
The proposal (House Bill 85) comes with almost the same language as an earlier medical marijuana bill that was not met with any level of real success during the regular session. It would legalize the “possession, use, cultivation, distribution, transportation, and delivery of medical cannabis” for patients suffering from a variety of “debilitating” medical conditions.
Unfortunately, not every bill submitted for consideration during the special session will be reviewed. Reports show that the governor has selected 20 specific issues that he would like to see resolved before the end of August, which means it is highly unlikely that anything pertaining to marijuana reform will make it to the table.
But there is always a chance that Governor Abbott could toss the medical marijuana bill onto the pile.
“I am hopeful that the leadership and the Governor genuinely considers the immediate need of medical cannabis for medical use,” Lucio III said. “I will do my part and ask our Governor to add this item to the call this Special Session and I urge you and I encourage you to do the same. I will continue pushing this bill and will continue to work hard to pass this legislation and won't stop until it becomes law.”
If the medical marijuana bill is not picked up during the special session, the issue will be considered dead until it can be resubmitted at the beginning of the next regular session in 2019.