Marijuana is now legal in Texas but it’s not what you think it is. Marijuana legalization is only limited to its medical use. The bill commits its final approval on Monday, May 18, 2015. Senate Bill 339 is a limited medical marijuana bill that grants qualifying patients in hardship with certain illnesses such as uncontrollable seizures to gain access to low-THC cannabis oil. Although opponents slug the bill saying it is worthless in its present form, the bill had made its way to approval.
Bill 339, sponsored by Senator Kevin Eltife, was passed in early May by the state senate. The vote counts are 96 to 34, leading to the move of “Texas Compassionate Use Act” to be either signed by Governor Greg Abbott.
Senate Bill 399 provides patients with seizure problems to gain extracts from cannabis oil with the prescription of a physician. Marijuana opponents claim that the bill will not actually supply the qualified patients to get the medicine they need under the strict nature of accessing it. Patients can’t quickly get the cannabis oil because it will take a doctor to prescribe it rather than just having a recommendation. This would be a serious concern for doctors to prescribe cannabis since it is illegal under the federal government. Prescribing all cannabis medications can put their license in danger of revocation.
“On a certain level, the legislature should be commended for acknowledging the medical value of marijuana, and it is a historic vote in that sense,” stated by Heather Fazio, Marijuana Policy Project’s police director in Texas, adding that “Lawmakers missed several opportunities to amend the bill in ways that could have provided real relief to countless Texans. Not a single patient will be helped by this legislation”.
“Nearly half of the states in the country have effectively implemented medical marijuana programs, and I have no doubt Texas could adopt an even better one,” Fazio said. Some patients may need a greater amount of THC for the efficient decrease in the recurrence and asperity of their seizure but the bill only allows extracts with very little amount of THC. The bill was also unsuccessful to granting medical marijuana to people suffering from other sever conditions such as cancer, sclerosis and PTSD wherein significant medical benefits are found to be in medical marijuana. “We need a law that ensures seriously ill patients who could benefit from medical marijuana are able to access it. There is no reason to put it off any longer.” Fazio added.
Although there are no sides taken by Governor Abbott, proponents of the bill give support for him to sign the Bill 339 disregarding its nature of restrictions to achieve the opportunity of enhancing the program to better serve people with other chronic diseases.
Many states in the nation have already legalized the use of medical marijuana. Although it is limited it is somehow not similar to the contents of Texas Bill. District of Columbia, U.S territory of Guam and twenty-three other states have approved inclusive medical marijuana laws that have already helped many severely ill patients around the nation.