Let’s make one thing clear right from the outset. Timid Texas lawmakers have given patients very little to celebrate.
Even under its “expanded” medical marijuana law, the THC limit remains an abysmally low 1%. That’s up one-half of one percent from the previous limit, 0.5% THC. The House version of the bill had included an increase to 5% THC. But the Texas Senate cut that back down to just 1%.
Such an absurdly low THC limit certainly limits the medicine’s usefulness to cancer patients, and most others as well. It’s more about political considerations than about “compassion for patients.” What it amounts to, basically, with this weak cannabis oil, is that Texas has a glorified CBD-only law.
Many advocates who testified in favor of the original bill argued a 5% cap on THC was either too low or completely unnecessary, reports KUT. They rightly argued that any decision about limits on the amount of the compound should be made between a patient and their physician, not by politicians.
Having said that, the Senate did advance an expansion of the Texas Compassionate Use Program Tuesday night.
House Bill 1535 grows the state’s medical Cannabis program to include all Texans with cancer. People with debilitating medical conditions would also qualify. But the Senate removed part of a House provision that would have added all chronic pain patients.
HB 1535 was amended in the House to include all forms of diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), rather than for veterans with PTSD as it was initially introduced.
Texas Program One Of Most Restrictive
The Texas program is one of the most restrictive in the nation, reports the Houston Chronicle. The medicine is only available to acute patients suffering from a handful of diseases or conditions. These include epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and terminal cancer.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety records, there are 4,919 medical Cannabis patients in the system.
The legislation goes back to the House and a conference committee for negotiation and approval. If and when that happens, it can advance to the Governor’s desk.