Comprehensive MMJ Bill Introduced in Texas Legislature

December 07,2016 | By TG BRANFALT JR

Democratic Texas State Senator José Menéndez has filed a medical cannabis bill that would allow Texans with debilitating medical conditions to use marijuana under the recommendation and consultation of their doctor, KFDM 6 reports. Menéndez was the sponsor for SB 339, Texas’ current medical cannabis law, which allows for limited medical cannabis use for patients in the state with intractable epilepsy. “Doctors, not politicians, should be determining what is best for Texas patients,” he said in the report. “This is legitimate medicine that can help a variety of people, from the grandmother suffering from cancer to the veteran coping with PTSD after returning home from war.” Last session, Menéndez filed SB 1839, which would have implemented a more comprehensive medical cannabis program than SB 339, setting up a system that would regulate the plant’s possession, use, cultivation, distribution, transportation, and fees. That bill, of which Menéndez was the sole sponsor, did not move out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. “Twenty-eight states have recognized the medical benefit of cannabis, including conservative states like Arkansas, Montana, and North Dakota,” Senator Menéndez said. “It’s time Texas steps up to the plate and provide real relief for our suffering patients.” Last session’s bill included wasting syndrome, severe pain and nausea, and multiple sclerosis as qualifying conditions, and permitted the Department of State Health Services to add conditions to the list.

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