State medical marijuana bill is headed to House floor

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FILE – This March 22, 2019 file photo shows a bud on a marijuana plant at Compassionate Care Foundation’s medical marijuana dispensary in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. U.S. retail sales of cannabis products jumped to $10.5 billion last year, a threefold increase from 2017, according to data from Arcview Group, a cannabis investment and market […]

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — The bill that would expand Texas’ medical marijuana program passed through a House committee with unanimous support and will now be scheduled to be debated on the House floor.

House Bill 1365, filed by Rep. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, would expand the Texas Compassionate Use Program to include more qualifying conditions and would allow more doctors to work with patients in the program. The legislation currently has the bipartisan support of 56 state legislators as both authors and coauthors.

Some conditions which would qualify for participation include: 

  • Cancer
  • autism
  • PTSD
  • neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Tourrette syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis

A much-debated element of the bill is still part of the legislation — doctors would still “prescribe” marijuana to patients, in spite of the fact that it is illegal to prescribe a Schedule I substance (which marijuana is) to a patient. Changing the wording from “prescribe” to “recommend” was considered but ultimately not acted upon. The bill does, however, include some state-level protection for doctors.

The legislation now heads to the House Committee on Calendars where it will wait to be scheduled for debate and vote by the House of Representatives.

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