Texas governor to medical marijuana patients ‘This is a law and order state’
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has responded to families who say they had to leave the state to participate in medical marijuana programs. “This is a law and order state, we have been and will continue to be so” say’s Gov. Abbott.
“Right now Governor Greg Abbott shows no signs of changing his stance on medical marijuana” according to Leslie Aguilar with KRGV. Last month the station featured families from all over the state who say medical marijuana is drastically improving the lives of their children. Some of the families featured include the Garza family from the Rio Grande Valley who have left for Colorado, the Zartlers in north Texas who illegally medicate their daughter who has both autism and cerebral palsy, and another mother Mayra Rivera who wants to try medical marijuana for her son who say’s “this is our last resort.”
Gov. Abbott responded to these pleas through KRGV, stating “as you point out I did sign a law that provided for what is called CBD oil for treatment for those with epilepsy. At this stage that’s as far as Texas will take it. One of the beauties of the way the the United States works is that there are different states that have different programs and we have the opportunity here in Texas to observe what is going on in Colorado and I gotta tell you there are some potential upsides but there have also been demonstrated some potential downsides.”
Asked what his concerns are about some of the effects the law has had in Colorado, Gov. Abbott responded “Well there has been, as one example, multiple reports of different cases where because of lack of standardization there have been overdoses or overreactions in a very bad way for individuals who are using it there. There is also the historical concerns about the way this could turn into a gateway drug.”
The report goes on the add that marijuana is non-toxic, it is impossible to fatally overdose on it, and there have been zero deaths from the consumption of marijuana. Consuming too much marijuana can cause inexperienced consumers to panic and seek emergency treatment, but they are not in danger.
Drug awareness organizations such as DARE, along with many others, have quietly backed away from the claims of marijuana as a gateway drug. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that “the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, ‘harder’ substances.”
Gov. Abbott continues in his statements saying, “The message we have in the state of Texas is that there are federal laws concerning the use of drugs that Texas wants to continue to abide by because we want to do all we can to ensure that we are going to limit the expansion of legal drugs making them legal, and that’s just the way Texas is.”
The Drug Enforcement Agency recently released a memo saying that CBD oil is federally illegal as well.
Three dispensaries are slated to be opened later this year to sell CBD oil, though many parents and experts say that CBD oil alone isn’t enough for some seizure patients, and that in order for the medicine to be effective it must also contain the THC compound for what’s called an “entourage effect.” THC is the compound in the cannabis plant which gives its consumer a high, but also has many other effects on the body as well as complementing the effectiveness of CBD.
In 2016 the Republican Party of Texas added a plank to its platform calling for the legalization of medical marijuana, and earlier this year during the legislative session a whole plant medical marijuana bill saw more than half of the Texas House of Representatives supporting it. However, the bill was not passed in time.
Families and medical patients will now have to wait until 2019 when the Texas legislature next convenes to push for another medical marijuana bill. Only the state legislature has the power to pass legislation since Texans do not have the ability to petition like other states do. Gov. Abbott is also up for re-election in 2018.
Polls have consistently shown support for legalizing medical marijuana in the upper 80 percent range.
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