State lawmakers in Texas have introduced legislation that would allow patients with cancer, PTSD, seizure disorders, and other debilitating medical conditions access to medical marijuana, if recommended by a doctor.
Representative Marisa Márquez (D-El Paso) introduced House Bill 3785 along with a companion bill sponsored by Sen. José Menéndez (D-San Antonio) in the Senate to follow. The bills would create a program where individuals with qualifying medical conditions would receive licenses, if recommended by a doctor, which allow them to possess small amounts of medical marijuana. The state’s Dept. of Health Services would be responsible for regulating the program’s marijuana cultivators and dispensaries.
“The law currently does not reflect marijuana’s legitimate medical use and denies access to patients, such as veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), citizens suffering with cancer and severe aliments of the aging,” stated Rep. Marquez. “By continuing to deny access to patients, we limit the rights of families to seek the best possible treatment for conditions that do not respond to other drugs or therapies. We should create paths, and not obstacles, in allowing doctors to recommend medicine that has been shown to work.”
These latest bills differ from the others previously introduced which only allowed access to CBD-only marijuana with little or no THC. Many medical marijuana patients have found that THC and other substances naturally found in marijuana are needed in addition to CBD to effectively treat their medical ailment(s).
77% of Texans believe that seriously ill people should be able to use marijuana for medical purposes, according to a poll from 2014.
“Every year, thousands of Texans are diagnosed with cancer, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, and other debilitating illnesses,” said Caitlin Dunklee of Texans for Medical Freedom, a group supporting the medical marijuana legislation. “The suffering that these patients experience is devastating for them and their families. The bill being filed today would allow patients the freedom to access the medicine that can best alleviate their suffering.”