Texas lawmaker says medical marijuana bill is probably ‘dead in the House’
A recently introduced whole plant medical marijuana is probably “dead in the House” according to Rep. Myra Crownover, a Republican from Denton.
HB 3785 has not yet been assigned to committee, but other medical marijuana bills have been referred to the House Public Health committee now headed by Rep. Crownover.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has said he opposes medical marijuana legalization, and Crownover told The News Tuesday “I think it’s dead in the House, also.”
The bill’s author Rep. Marisa Márquez, D-El Paso, called Crownover’s assessment “premature.”
“I believe that there are a lot of members out there that believe that this is worthy to look at and to discuss,” Márquez said. “I’m not discouraged by any means.”
There’s a chance the bill could also end up in the House State Affairs committee chaired by Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana. Cook said he thought the proposal was “ahead of its time,” but worth a discussion according to the Dallas Morning News.
“What I traditionally like to do is hear all the different folks come in and testify on a bill because sometimes that reinforces where you are, and sometimes it causes you to change your mind because you are forced to think about things a little more broadly than you would have otherwise,” Cook said.
“We should always have conversation about things,” Cook said. “That’s what we’re here for.”
The bill would cover those with cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s, and other conditions that cause severe pain, nausea, or seizures. It would also set up a regulatory system for medical growers and dispensaries.
Already this year a nine-yeal-old girl has had to move to Colorado to seek medical cannabis treatment for severe seizures. Since moving there and beginning treatment, Alexis Bortell has gone over two weeks without experiencing any symptoms. She used to have seizures every few hours.
Fort Worth resident Barbara Humphries, 31, was diagnosed with breast cancer in May and underwent eight months of chemotherapy and a double mastectomy. She used marijuana illegally to offset the nausea and pain caused by the treatments.
“I’m putting a lot on the line because I have a 3 year old and a 5 year old,” Humphries said. “For me, I don’t feel like a criminal, I just feel like i’m trying to make myself feel better.”
There are three other medical marijuana bills, including two identical pieces of legislation in both the House and Senate which would legalize CBD-only medical marijuana, severely limiting who the program could help, and would not go into effect until 2017 by the Department of Public Safety.
The other bill would give patients and affirmative defense in court, allowing them to tell jurors that they consume cannabis for medicinal reasons and have a doctor testify in their defense.
Currently those charged with possession in Texas cannot tell jurors that they consume marijuana in a medical capacity.
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