Last week, the Drug Enforcement Administration decided not to reschedule marijuana. In response, cannabis reform activists, as well as state lawmakers in Texas, stated that they are focused on changing state cannabis policy in the next legislative session. The San Antonio Current reports that Heather Fazio, the Texas political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), stated that beginning in 2017, activists have two primary objectives: first to increase Texas’ very restrictive and inefficient medical cannabis program and second, to decriminalize the drug,

In 2015, Texas Governor Greg Abbott passed the Compassionate Use Act, which gives those who suffer from epilepsy the ability to obtain cannabis oil that is low in THC. But the wording of the act is wrong; it states that doctors need to “prescribe” medical marijuana instead of recommending it. Therefore, doctors are put at risk and can lose their license if they are found prescribing marijuana since it is still illegal under the federal government. The system as a whole is inefficient as a result. Fazio said in an interview that families have even decided to leave the state to find treatment in other states.

“There are families uprooting from Texas, where they want to live because they can’t treat their children here,” Fazio stated. “We think we can convince the Legislature that that shouldn’t be happening.”

Proponents and legislatures would also like to see the list of conditions that make one able to obtain medical marijuana increased. The conditions that have the most support to be added are both cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“If we are compassionate about people with epilepsy, then we should be compassionate about people with cancer, and cataracts and glaucoma and veterans who are being put on all kinds of opioids,” said Democratic State Sen. Jose Menedez. “It is senseless to me that the State of Texas thinks it knows better than people’s doctors.”

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1 comment
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