texas norml region conference marijuana cannabis
Medical Marijuana Policy

Texas Governor Signs Limited Medical Marijuana Bill Today

texas norml region conference marijuana cannabisTexas’ Governor signed a medical marijuana bill (if you want to call it that) bill into law today. The bill adds Texas to the growing number of states that have approved a low THC medical marijuana bill. As many activists have pointed out, this bill will not help very many people, if anyone at all. I don’t like these types of legislation because now when asked if Texas will legalize medical marijuana, Texas politicians will say ‘we already did that,’ wipe their hands, and move on with their day. Texans clearly need to keep fighting. With that being said, this bill is better than what was on the books before, and I have always thought that Texas would need to take some baby steps before they take the full leap. Below is a press release from Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy about today’s events:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is scheduled to sign a bill into law Monday that recognizes the medical benefits of marijuana. SB 339, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler), is intended to allow patients with intractable seizure conditions to access marijuana extracts containing high levels of cannabidiol (CBD) and only trace levels of THC.

SB 339 requires doctors to “prescribe” low-THC marijuana extracts to patients, which exposes doctors to federal criminal sanctions. By contrast, doctors “recommend” medical marijuana or “certify” patients to use medical marijuana in the 23 states with comprehensive medical marijuana laws and the District of Columbia. Unlike “prescriptions,” recommendations and certifications are federally legal and protected under the First Amendment.

The bill also only allows for extracts with very little THC, and some seizure patients say a greater ratio of THC to CBD is necessary for it to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of seizures. The bill also fails to allow access to any medical marijuana products for people suffering from other debilitating conditions, such as PTSD, cancer, and multiple sclerosis, for which medical marijuana has been found to have significant medical benefits.

Despite SB 339’s significant limitations, advocates support Gov. Abbott signing it into law and promptly implementing the program. It has frequently taken as long as two to three years for patients to begin safely accessing medical cannabis preparations after state medical marijuana laws are enacted. First, rules need to be crafted for the operation of dispensaries, then there is an application process, and finally the providers must find locations, build out their facilities, and begin cultivation.

Fourteen states have adopted laws that allow limited access to products containing CBD, although most of them are not functional due to defects similar to those in the Texas bill. Twenty-three additional states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territory of Guam have adopted comprehensive medical marijuana laws that allow patients with debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

Statement from Heather Fazio, Texas political director for the Marijuana Policy Project: “While this program leaves most patients behind and we’re concerned about its functionality, today is one for the history books. The Texas Legislature is sending a resounding message: Marijuana is medicine. We commend our Texas lawmakers and look forward to continuing this conversation when the 85th Legislature convenes in 2017.”

  • newageblues

    Guns very good, alcohol good, marijuana very bad, to the bigot thugs who rule Texas. If the MPP wants to be polite about it (too polite in my view) and say Texas sent a resounding message “marijuana is medicine”, they can. I think Texas sent the message that the pressure got too great, and they had to vent some if it with a bogus bill that has a poison pill in it, by requiring doctors to ‘prescribe’ low THC weed, and risk their license. Pigheadedness piled on pigheadedness in ‘liberty loving’ Texas.

    • Lisa Bonsal

      There are Idiots running the state of Texas! Doctors prescribe Oxycotin to people and that drug kills people fast!

      • saynotohypocrisy

        I know, and if you try to explain it to them, they run away from you like little children being told something they don’t want to hear.

  • HellNo

    The majority of Texans do support Marijuana legalization, and our State Representatives had several bills up for consideration. They took the cowardly, non- progressive choice in this hyper- restrictive bill. I continue to support HB-2165 which is a full legalization bill. I have contacted most of our State Reps including my own, and I encourage all Texans that want an end to prohibition, to do the same.

  • ĐΣFΣCŦΣĐ

    man these few people need to back off and listen to the millions. I can feel a massive protest coming to the states soon, demanding legalization now. These bills are made to trick the population and support nobody. exposing these horrible bills and explaining the problems is a must.

  • ĐΣFΣCŦΣĐ

    man these few people need to back off and listen to the millions. I can feel a massive protest coming to the states soon, demanding legalization now. These bills are made to trick the population and support nobody. exposing these horrible bills and explaining the problems is a must.

  • Keepupthefight

    Take what you can
    can get and chill people… to say this doesn’t help anyone is rude and sounds a bit greedy cause you can’t just bust up a joint leglegally. Sometimes as activists we get over zealous and easily disappointed when it seems all our work was just to help a kid or two with epilepsy or cancer. But if your heart is right then you know they should come first. .. that is a big victory, now on to the next and have patience this is obviously not going to happen over night.

    • HellNo

      This bill does nothing but give our State Reps an easy way to avoid doing anything meaningful. When you have an angry mob at your door, you don’t have to give them everything they want, you just give enough to breakup the crowd. When we accept a little bone like this, we never get whole meal.

    • HellNo

      This bill does nothing but give our State Reps an easy way to avoid doing anything meaningful. When you have an angry mob at your door, you don’t have to give them everything they want, you just give enough to breakup the crowd. When we accept a little bone like this, we never get whole meal.

    • Renazy82

      I felt the same way. That it is one small step for those who are pro pot laws, one giant leap for right wing republican Texas! But … Then, as governor Abbott signed the bill, allowing “prescriptions” of CBD oils, with trace THC to only to patients with retractable seizures…. He states that,
      ~Texas cannot expect any other marijuana laws to pass while he is in office.
      First off, he signed a bill, that specifies the word, prescribe, for doctors authorization. Prescriptions of schedule 1 drugs violates the federal regulations put on doctors, so… Any doctor in Texas prescribing even cbd oil (that couldn’t be obtained in Texas anyhow, because the bill allows no growers, producers, or dispensaries, and can’t be transported across state lines ) would be in jeopardy of losing his or her license to practice. So… No one in Texas benefits from the bill. No health or financial gain at all.
      Second, Governor Abbott has sealed himself in as closed minded to actually helping people he’s already acknowledged, could benifit from access to medicinal marijuana. That is the equivalent to 150,000 residents, either sentenced to a continuous decline in health, or even death (Not very christian of the right wing, God fearing man he claims to be). That is if they, with their families don’t up and move to a state willing to offer advanced medicine that they need. Moving away is a potential loss of 300,000+ taxpaying residents.
      Third, Governor Abbott implies that he doesn’t like his job very much…. Recent polls show 77% of Texans agree cannabis should be medically legal, and 58% of Texans agree it should be legalized on a recreational level for those over 21 years of age, like alcohol. Guess who is not going to get to speak for our state anymore, if he doesn’t accept and coordinate his own views with those of the people he represents. I can tell you who I’m not voting for at the end of his term in 2018. Greg Abbott. In one sentence, with one signature, at the signing of a marijuana bill, he lost support of all opposing marijuana reform, and those for it.
      To me, I took his statement to mean the other 2 bills (one for decriminalization and one beautifully written medical marijuana proposal) won’t be heard or considered after their fights to pass through the committee and house.
      Sadly, I believe Abbott to be a smart man, which tells me that he thinks we’re stupid. That we will drop our pushing for cannabis laws to be reformed, because he signed the least sensible of them.
      As a Texan, I refuse to be given a metaphorical pacifier, and believe we should all press forward, harder than ever on this topic. Let the people use democracy as intented. Majority rule should make the rules. Let the people of Texas vote on the topic. We’ll tell you what we want!

      • Christine Pharr

        Best comment on here, informative and I think you should run for office!

  • Keepupthefight

    Take what you can
    can get and chill people… to say this doesn’t help anyone is rude and sounds a bit greedy cause you can’t just bust up a joint leglegally. Sometimes as activists we get over zealous and easily disappointed when it seems all our work was just to help a kid or two with epilepsy or cancer. But if your heart is right then you know they should come first. .. that is a big victory, now on to the next and have patience this is obviously not going to happen over night.

  • Aubrey John DeBliquy

    How is Cannabis prohibition compatible with a correct etymological translation of the bible which concedes that the active ingredient in the priestly anointing oil prescribed by Moses in Exodus 30:22-23 is in fact flowering, ripe cannabis buds? The original Hebrew text refers to Kine Bosem which is translated in many English versions of the bible as Fragrant Cane or Sweet Calamus.

  • Michael D Calvitto

    I’m just so dumbfounded asto how stupid people really are, they don’t want to legalize weed which helps many people but allows alcohol which only destroys both lives and property, can you get any dumber than that….. The bible does say that people will call good evil and evil good.

  • brandon sinks

    It is insane that knowing all the uses of marijuna and the good it could do that state and federal laws prohibit it. It is no more then a money issue and how the government can control it. They had rather give way to same sex marraige but there is no money in cures or less expensive treatment for the economy monopolies. So they had rather ignore it. And until we are rid of Obama his administration and his strictly Muslim and gay agendas will we get someone who knows of marijunas uses for medical and other resources. And come back to a more ethical and moral country. And by the way Im a gay man .

  • Archie Mahan

    A side from the medical benefits. It has been a cash cow in the state of Colorado. A tax that was attached to the recreational marijuana, has brought in such a surplus in taxes, the state is having to decided what to do with it. The rec bill had contentions attached to it that the profits would go to the school systems through the state, for equipment for the schools. I’m just waiting to see the solid gold swing sets getting put in. Ok, maybe not solid gold, but you get what I’m saying. Crime rates have dropped, and the economy has picked up.

    Cbd is good for managing pain and controlling seizures. I personally use it for my broken back. Thc, that treats a completely different list of ailments, anxiety, depression, ect… there as so many benefits.

    People don’t get confused, marijuana isn’t a drug. It’s an herb. It comes from a seed, it gets watered, sunlight, and love. At the end of the season it gets harvested just like any other crop. You dry it out, store in in a jar for a while. The only chemical reaction that occurs with it is when you add a flame to it and light it on fire. Inhale the smoke and some wonderful things happen. Unlike the real drugs that people should be afraid of……prescription narcotics. A pharmacist who’s gone to school for 12 years, that’s right 12 years, takes different dangerous chemicals, mixes them together to form a compound that has to be only recommended by a doctor. Some of those narcotics are so dangerous the federal government tracks them, and can and will limit how many you may have. Anyone know what America’s#1 killer it’s…… not marijuana. It’s those dangerous drugs, narcotics. To date marijuana has caused 0 deaths from overdoses. To die from marijuana, you’d need about a bale of hay sized pile of marijuana, a very small room with no ventilation, then you technically wouldn’t die from the marijuana, you’d suffocate from the oxygen being burned out of the air from the fire it would take to burn it all. And to all those bible lovers, don’t say it’s a sin, or that it’s the devil’s grass. Grab that bible and read the very first book, Genesis. And god said, “I have given you all the seed bearing plants to use.” Remember I said above it’s starts as a seed.

    Amazing that a plant can be made illegal, when the doctors are handing out the killers.

    • Tim Estes

      Bravo

  • Becca Tart

    Seems to me that if Colorado is doing so well they don’t know what to do with the extra money all states would do and a certain amount of that money be put toward the national debt,bet we would be out of debt in a couple of years.

    • Lisa Bonsal

      Yes, kind of like Texas don’t allow gambling but what are scratch offs and lottery? Some of that money is supposed to be going to our schools or is it?

  • TPJC

    Okay I find this offensive. He passed the use of oils that have every little benefit but they would rather people be on oxycotin which is almost the equivalent to herion for pain that is crazy. Leave it is TX to make us the laughing stock. Why did he even sign this since it has no benefits?

    • Lisa Bonsal

      That’s exactly how I feel!

  • Kelly D Everett

    i believe the issue is that texas is raking in such an income from incarcerating people and using the cheap labor to further the profits….texas has a huge prison business going…..why would they want to get into their pockets to help people? why would you expect compassion instead of greed from a so-called “bible” state…..makes me ill.

  • Lisa Bonsal

    Sounds like we need a new Governor!! One that can under that there is no more danger with weed than having alcohol available on every corner! Or having tobacco legal! People die every minute from alcohol and tobacco use! Even innocent people on our highways who never drink, die! It’s double standards. If weed was legal, than people would not need pain killers like Oxycotin that not only kills the pain but also the person!

  • Phat Head

    When do those lazy bastards work?

  • Phat Head

    2017? Lol, I have to work to get paid, Vote Trump and he will shake up those lazy, crooked law makers.. Right

  • Michael Monroe

    will the goverment all ready has a the pation number on it,so they would legaliz it,I have a real bad shoulder had 2 surgerys done and it hurt like a m/#!f/#!,,, And doctors want give me any pain meds,,,,workers comp,or not any better,,,,and iam right hand?can’t do very much because it hurts can’t sleep,taken everything over the counter, ,nothing don’t work,,and,i,live,in,Texas,,,Born@raised

  • Michael Monroe

    not only that them S.O.B.ended to quit waseting my tax money on fighting marijuana,they spend way to much of our money,,their not going to stop it,,,GOD out it on earth for everyone to use if they choose to do so I think it’s out right,,,it’s like this I can give a dam high school kid a gun to fight for our freedom but can’t drink a beer in tell he/she is 21THAT’S WHAT I SAY HEAD UP THE ASS,,,,and he or she/night not even come back to alive,,to enjoy life,,,,and if the do they might be all screwed up in the head,,, SO COME ON GOVERMENT,LEGALIZ IT,,OK HERE’S A NOTHER WAY OF PUTTING IT MAN MADE BEER GOD MADE WEED HOW IN THE HE’LL OR Y’ALL GOING TO TRUST?????

  • I feel that the state of Texas should legalize marijuana. It’s a plant, a herb that is grown dfthat is grown in, from the ground. It’s use can benefit a lot of people that deal with pain every day.

    Thank you.

  • TJ

    I have had to take opioids for almost 30 years due to severe degerative disc disease, neuropathy, etc. I have had 3 major surgeries and countless pain management procedures in an attempt to alleviate my pain. I was on disability for about 5 years but as a single person, I could not survive financially & had no choice but to return to work. At 50 years of age, I can only imagine the damage done to my body by the long term use of opioids but am unable to work without them. I know that the pharmaceutical companies are putting big money towards the fight against medical cannibus because they know that they would lose even more money if it were legalized. I am a proud native Texan but I simply do not understand why the state government is not more compassionate toward it’s residents. I am quite sure that a plant is no where as near as toxic as opioids, especially over long periods of time. I have all my family here but have considered leaving the state so I can discontinue the poisoning of my body. We don’t need stubborn state leaders but compassionate ones. I feel as if I & many, many others legimate, diagnosed suffers do not matter in the least & our state government does not care if we suffer, live or die. I am beginning to lose faith that medical cannibus products will ever be legal in our great state.