Medical marijuana bills scheduled for hearing in Texas
Three medical marijuana bills have been scheduled for a hearing in the Texas legislature.
The bills are wide ranging, and much support is expected to be heard in testimony. The bills cover limited medical marijuana, a whole plant program, and medical defense in court.
House Bill 837, which has been introduced several sessions in a row now, would provide patients with an affirmative defense in court. Currently a defendant could be found in contempt if they attempt to tell jurors that they consume cannabis for medicinal reasons.
House Bill 892 would legalize a very limited form of medical marijuana, allowing only strains which contain very little THC, the active ingredient which produces the “high.” The bill would permit marijuana to be sold which is predominately CBD, one of the active ingredients in the non-toxic plant which has been shown to help relieve pain and seizure activity. However marijuana proponents have stated that the bill would only help a select few, and that in most cases both a combination of THC and CBD are needed in order for the medicine to work correctly.
A third bill, HB 3785 would legalize cannabis as a whole and set up a dispensary system which would be regulated by the Health & Human Services department. It would cover a number of medical issues, including pain, seizures, cancer patients, and those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The bill also has a provision which would allow patients to petition the state to have their medical issues covered under the program as well.
This marks the most medical marijuana bills the state legislature has ever had submitted. So far, a medical marijuana related bill has never been voted out of committee.
Hearings for the three bills will take place the same day on Tuesday, April 28 in the Public Health Committee.
By: Stephen Carter
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