Marijuana and Texas, could Texas legalize soon?

Published Mar 24, 2019 10:12 a.m. ET
Is weed legal in Texas?

Texas is ready to expand the existing laws that govern medical marijuana. Now other states are following the Texas stance on medical marijuana.

Currently, the state of Texas limits its medical marijuana patients to access very low THC level marijuana. The legalization of medical cannabis was introduced in 2015. A Texas senator is introducing a bill, that if passed will greatly expand the rights of medical marijuana patients.

Currently, under state law, it is illegal to use a vape pen containing fast-acting THC. There are people in Texas who use these vape pens to control their anxiety. PTSD is a medical condition that fosters high anxiety levels that benefit from the use of medical cannabis. Some people feel more comfortable using marijuana and believe that this is a healthier and safer way to medicate. The side-effects from other prescribed medications are not pleasant. Some of the prescribed medications are habit forming and can lead to addiction.

Medical marijuana legalization in Texas

In 2015, a bill was passed in Texas to allow legal products that contained high levels of CBD and low levels of THC to be sold at the states 3 licensed dispensaries. Marijuana was to be available only to those with intractable epilepsy. It was to be approved to those that had tried two Federally approved medications with no positive results. Their symptoms had to have not respond to the administration of the federally approved medication. They also had to be a permanent resident of the state of Texas. Accompanying this, an approval from two specialists who specialized in neurology must have been given. Those doctors were to be listed on the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas.

Advocates are pushing for safe, legal access to marijuana. They know that every state around Texas has passed legislation to allow marijuana in some form.

There is opposition for Texas to go any further with the legalization process of marijuana. The Sheriff’s Association of Texas strongly opposes the legalization, sighting the social costs of the drug.

The future of marijuana and legalization in Texas

Going forward the Senators are expanding the list of the debilitating symptoms or diseases that previously qualified you for the use of medical cannabis, under the Compassionate Use Act of 2015. This list will now include more medical conditions. Terminal cancer, Crohn’s Disease, PTSD and autism will now be added as qualifying conditions.

The passing of this bill will allow doctors to prescribe medical cannabis. Doctors will look at medical cannabis as they would any other medication that they prescribe. The removal of the 0.5 caps of THC, the psychoactive component of medical cannabis that is sold under the Compassionate Use Act will no longer be a stipulation. The passing of the Senators Bill allows the decision of which patients needed medical cannabis or not to be left to the decision of the medical doctor.

Texans that are using medical cannabis to treat their medical conditions like PTSD will have to remain underground for the time being. The weed laws in Texas are tough; legislators are fighting for the medical marijuana legislation in Texas to expand. Republicans are expressing their openness towards reducing penalties for any low-level possession of the cannabis plant, though it’s hard to say when weed will be legal in Texas.

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