Texas: CBD Is Not Enough -- Legislators Introduce Real Medical Marijuana Bill
By Steve Elliott
There are encouraging signs of actual marijuana law reform in Texas this week. One of the happiest indicators is that the introduction of limited "CBD-only" cannabis oil bills doesn't necessarily keep better medical marijuana legislation from being introduced.
You see, soon after state Sen. Kevin Eltile and state Rep. Stephanie Klick -- both Republicans -- introduced their plan to make a very limited subset of CBD oil available to an even smaller subset of patients who would benefit, the push-back started, reports Stephen Young at the Dallas Observer.
The law was misguided, said Shaun McAlister, executive director of the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (DFW NORML). McAlister pointed out that it failed to account for the complexity that makes cannabis an effective treatment for so many conditions.
Dean Bortell, the father of 9-year-old Alexis Bortell, who has intractable epilepsy, said the bill didn't go far enough, despite it being specifically targeted at his daughter's condition. The Bortells now live in Colorado after leaving Texas to find an effective cannabis-based treatment for Alexis, but they continue to fight for medical marijuana reform in the Lone Star State.
On Friday, Bortell announced his support for new medical marijuana bills from state Rep. Marisa Márquez and state Sen. José Menéndez. The bills would give safe access to medical marijuana to patients with a wide range of conditions.
"The law currently does not reflect marijuana's legitimate medical use and denies access to patients, such as veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, citizens suffering with cancer and severe aliments of the aging," Marquez said in a press release. "By continuing to deny access to patients, we limit the rights of families to seek the best possible treatment for conditions that do not respond to other drugs or therapies."
"Since starting treatment with full spectrum cannabis oils, our daughter has not had a single seizure or spasm," Bortell said. "With prescription drugs, we never had a symptom-free stretch spanning more than two days. With cannabis oils, we've set a record of 11 days with no end in sight. The most important thing we have learned since arriving in Colorado and starting treatment is how vital it is to have access to the whole cannabis plant. Dosing decisions should be left to doctors and families, not lawmakers."
Graphic: The Medical Cannabis Resource Center