Before its legislative session ends in less than two weeks, the Texas Senate has the opportunity to pass two pivotal house bills which would make a world of difference for its medical marijuana patient community.
Fostering Inclusivity: Texas Compassionate Use Program
House Bill 1535 would greatly expand upon the Texas Compassionate Use Program’s (CUP) list of qualifying patient conditions. This would allow for expanded patient eligibility and a significant increase in the availability of Texas medical marijuana all-around state borders.
As things currently stand, the CUP encompasses a limited list of eligible conditions for medical marijuana treatment in Texas. Compared to the accepted qualifying illnesses of other states, Texas is somewhat lagging behind in terms of facilitating inclusivity for the state’s potential patients.
With this in mind, HB 1535 aims to offer at least a partial solution, by adding the following to the existing list of qualifying conditions for Texan patients:
- Chronic Pain – ranging from migraines to abdominal pain, marijuana has been scientifically proven to help with the treatment of a wide range of pain-causing illnesses.
- PTSD – Approving PTSD as an eligible condition for marijuana treatment would grant many veterans access to alternative treatment when traditional methods fail. This would be a momentous improvement for the Texan war veteran community.
- All stages of cancer – at the moment, the Texas CUP only allows for cancer patients in their terminal stages to obtain medical marijuana treatment. This can prove highly counterproductive for patients who are in the developmental stages of the illness, as substances such as CBD oil can be a substantial help in the impairment of carcinogen tumor development.
Unfortunately, for a bill of this magnitude, the legislative forecast predicts that the May 31st deadline is simply too close for it to materialize in time. For the bill to advance from the Senate State Affairs Committee and receive approval from the full Senate, lawmakers would have to be in complete unison, with no further delays coming from the Republican influence.
Reduced Possession Penalties
House Bill 2593, removes the threat of prison sentencing for possession of one ounce of marijuana, classifying it as a class C misdemeanor. Moreover, the bill would also include THC-containing medical marijuana products such as edibles, cannabinoid-based oils, tinctures, and more.
A superior candidate for implementation thanks to its 5-2 vote in the Senate State Affairs Committee, if the bill were to pass, it would create history in being the first instance of marijuana penalty reduction since the 1970s.
In addition, HB 2593’s passing would be highly beneficial for future marijuana decriminalization efforts, by creating precedence and showing the state’s effort towards continuously improving and expanding upon its marijuana legislation.
Want to find out more about patient-related cannabis laws for other states? Check out our list of state cannabis laws.