Texas Looks to Become Next to Legalize Medical Marijuana
2019 looks like it could be the year that Texas joins the majority of other states in legalizing medical marijuana.
Texas is set to join the list of 33 U.S. states and Washington DC that have already legalized or are in the process of legalizing medical marijuana – ten states have also legalized recreational marijuana. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made it clear there is no point filling Texas jails with people caught with small amounts of marijuana when fines are the better option.
Texas lawmakers have introduced 13 bills related to marijuana use this session. There is, however, another bill for medical marijuana in the state for children suffering from epilepsy. The bills that have a good chance of passing are Senate Bill 90 and House Bill 209, which are two medical marijuana bills.
The U.S. Congress passed the Farm Bill in December 2018. This bill legalized hemp, which is in the cannabis sativa family but with lower amounts of the active compound THC, which is the part that gives the “high.” Hemp has many industrial uses.
The new Texas legislation applies to the use of medical cannabis for HIV/AIDS, PTSD, cancer, autism and CTE among other chronic diseases. The same bill equally provides for “chronic medical conditions” that produce “severe pain” or “severe nausea.”
With the two bills, doctors are at liberty to prescribe medical marijuana for debilitating medical conditions with little or no cures.
In Texas, House Bill 73 also seeks to decriminalize possession of recreational marijuana when it is less than an ounce. Offenders will only be fined rather than being jailed for the crime. Gov. Abbott wants to cut down on marijuana sentences when they involve negligible amounts.