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Despite Unprecedented Support for Marijuana Legalization, Texas Rejects Reform

State Marijuana Law

The support for marijuana reform in Texas was very strong this legislative season. Texas lawmakers, however, aren’t on the same page. They’re not ready to make further changes to state marijuana laws.

Bills decriminalizing marijuana possession and expanding the state’s medical marijuana program both died at the State Capitol, Houston Chron reports. House Bill 2107 sought to expand the qualifying conditions allowed by the state’s Compassionate Use Act. This particular bill had 77 co-authors showing bipartisan support. The bill, unfortunately, didn’t make it to the House Floor to be voted on.

Representative Jason Isaac said, “We are going to see a lot more families leave the state of Texas over the next 18 months with children who have neurological disorders. They will move to other states where they can get treatment.”

Amy Lou Fawell of Texas Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism (MAMMA) says parents in her organization, including herself, were crushed when House Bill 2107 died.

Fawell said, “A lot of the mothers were conservative mothers themselves. We all needed to change our hearts and minds, but when you have a sick kid, it goes a little faster. We were willing to be open about this. We’re proud and crushed at the same time because we know historic progress was done at the Capitol.”

Senate Bill 269 wasn’t even given the opportunity of a committee hearing being scheduled.

Texas’ Compassionate Use Act only allows low-THC products to be used to treat a handful of conditions like epilepsy, HIV and cancer. Texas law also requires doctors to actually prescribe, not recommend, a specific CBD to THC ratio to use.

Representative Isaac says these events show that lawmakers still need to be educated about cannabidiol.

Isaac said, “It’s not legalization, it’s not recreational, it’s for expanding the Texas Compassionate Use Program to help people with more neurological disorders beyond intractable epilepsy. To help children with autism, to help adults with autism that have found relief in their seizures and their brain activity by taking something that’s got a higher level of cannabidiol.”

The decriminalization bill, House Bill 81, was scheduled for a vote but time ran out before lawmakers could get to it before the end of the state’s legislative session. Heather Fazio of Marijuana Policy says that Texans are still going to be arrested and tarnished with criminal records until the state’s next legislative session.

Fazio said, “The stakes are high. We’re talking about people’s lives, good government policy and righting the wrong that has been on the books for way too long.

Fawell concluded her comments with, “After seeing our kids and our families and seeing the Zartler video, how could they not vote for us? How could it not have happened?”