The Texas House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday that would greatly expand access to the state’s medical marijuana program. The measure, House Bill 1365, was passed by a vote of 121-23 and will next advance to the more conservative Texas Senate for consideration. Democratic Rep. Eddie Lucio III, the sponsor of the legislation, told his colleagues in the House that he wanted to help ill Texans.
“Today, I don’t just stand here as a member of this body but as a voice for thousands of people in this state that are too sick to function or that live in constant, debilitating pain,” Lucio said.
House Bill 1365 would allow access to the state’s medical marijuana program to patients with one or more of several new qualifying conditions. Under the current Compassionate Use Act of 2015, only patients with intractable epilepsy can qualify to use low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil as a medicine. Lucio’s bill would add Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s disease, muscular dystrophy, post-traumatic stress disorder, autism, and several other serious medical conditions to the program.
The bill also relaxes strict regulations to qualify for the program, including one requiring a recommendation to use medical marijuana from two neurological specialists. A