The rate at which marijuana laws are being passed in the US is something that was not expected by many. In recent times, we have seen an increase of the number of states legalizing the use of marijuana both for medical and/or recreational purposes. Led by California, several other states including Massachusetts and Maine passed recreational marijuana laws during the 2016 elections. Recently, a senator now seeks to push for the legalization of medical marijuana in Texas, the second largest US state in terms of population and size. Patients and physicians came out in full support of a proposed medical marijuana bill that will be tabled in the Texas Legislature in 2017. The Senate Bill 269 was first filed on December 6, 2016 and aims at permitting patients with chronic health conditions to access medical marijuana through a doctor’s recommendation. The bill also seeks to expand on a Texas law passed in 2015 that allows ill individuals to access certain types of marijuana if they are suffering from intractable epilepsy. Currently, the laws are limiting and the passing of the proposed bill would see much freedom in the use of medical pot for patients in Texas.
The bill has received much support led by Senator Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio who was the chief author. He said that the regulation is very much helpful although it excludes many Texas residents who suffer from other conditions that may benefit from marijuana treatment. Senator Menendez looks at the development on marijuana reforms in other states and believes that residents from Texas State don’t have to go to them in pursuit of medical marijuana care. In showing his vehement support, Senator Menendez said that Texans are being forced to become medical refugees. According to him, this was uncalled for since Texas could also establish its own laws and enhance medical cannabis use within the state. He reiterated that, if patients in Texas have come to realize that marijuana works for them, they must be in a position to live in their own state and be able to access the medicine that has been recommended by their doctor based on their condition.
Debbie Tolany is a mother with an autistic child and intractable epilepsy. She said that her son used various medications that have not helped him at all. Talking from this experience, she believes that authorities will be convinced to reconsider passing this bill. She added that, as a parent, she struggled with a lot of emotions considering that the only medication suitable for her child was not readily available in the state. For her, the medication she has been using for her son do nothing tangible in dealing with the psychological sources of the suffering and pain of her son.
Senator Menendez co-authored the bill that permitted a limited marijuana use for individuals suffering from epileptic condition. He also filed up an extra bill in 2015 that would have extended the use of medical marijuana to many other health conditions. These are some of the changes that are expected to take place in Texas. It is not something out of reach because many other states have been able to pass cannabis laws for both medical and recreational use. Marijuana uses have widely been acknowledged in recent times. Even with the incoming Trump Presidency, a lot will be realized given that the President-elect said during his campaigns that the matter of marijuana was best addressed at the state level. Trump’s main focus is on economic and immigration policies and may not have the pleasure to go back on matters to do with cannabis. Therefore, advocates for marijuana use in Texas have nothing to worry about.