HB 3785

Texas: Veterans To Gather At State Capitol To Support Medical Marijuana

Texas-RepDavidSimpsonQuotePeopleShouldMakeTheirOwnHealthDecisions[TexansForResponsibleMarijuanaPolicy]

Texas-based military veterans and their families will gather at the state capitol on Wednesday for a lobby day in support of legislation that would allow medical marijuana to be used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe pain, and other debilitating medical conditions.

The group will hold a news conference at 12 noon CT in Room 110 of the John H. Reagan State Office Building, at which it will urge House Public Health Committee Chair Myra Crownover (R-Denton) to hold a hearing on HB 3785, which would allow seriously ill Texas residents to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it.

Advocates will also highlight a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling at the end of March that found two out of three voters in Rep. Crownover’s district (67 percent) support such legislation.

“There are about 1.67 million veterans living in Texas, and hundreds of thousands of them are believed to be suffering from service-connected disabilities,” said Tristan Tucker, a Denton-based Navy veteran. “Medical marijuana is effective in mitigating the symptoms of PTSD and severe pain, two of the most prevalent conditions afflicting veterans.

"Veterans who use medical marijuana to treat their service-related injuries should be treated like patients, not criminals,” Tucker said.

Texas: House Committee Takes Up 3 Bills On Marijuana Reform

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Three bills taking different approaches to reforming marijuana laws in Texas got a hearing before the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence last week.

Supporters packed the only committee hearing scheduled on the bills in either chamber, reports Stanton Brashier at the Dallas Observer. Other hearings this session are seen as unlikely.

The first two bills, HB 325 and HB 414, would reduce possession about about nine grams of marijuana -- 0.35 ounces -- to a class C misdemeanor from its current status as a class B misdemeanor. They'd also drop possession of two ounces to a class B misdemeanor and under four ounces to a class A misdemeanor. These bills are backed by Reps. Harold Dutton Jr., and Gene Wu, respectively, both of Houston.

HB 507, from Rep. Joe Moody of El Paso, would reduce penalties for possession of less than an ounce of cannabis to a $100 fine and no jail time. "As a lawmaker, I have a responsibility to make sure we're spending our resources wisely and treating our people fairly," Moody said. "That's what HB 507 is about."

HB 2165, from Rep. David Simpson of Tyler, would effectively legalize marijuana with little regulation, "like tomatoes or jalapenos." Shaun McAlister, director of the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said this one could be a stepping stone to more reform.

Texas: Moms Host Lobby Day To Call For Passage Of Medical Marijuana Law

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Dozens of Texas mothers from all across the state with seriously ill children came together in the state capitol to call for passage of legislation that will help reduce their children’s suffering

A new statewide network of Texas moms and caregivers came together on Thursday in the Committee Hearing Room to lobby in support of legislation addressing access to medical marijuana.

Twenty-three states, one U.S. territory (Guam) and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing the use of marijuana for qualifying patients under state law. Rep. Marisa Márquez (D-El Paso) the House sponsor of Texas’ first ever comprehensive medical marijuana legislation, HB 3785, said “as a state that leads the nation in innovative medical research, Texas needs to take a scientific and reasoned approach to the known benefits of medical marijuana.”

Sen. José Menéndez (D-San Antonio) who introduced a companion bill in the Senate believes that “these mothers are doing what any parent would be doing -- advocating for safe medicine and relief for their suffering children. We have to stop criminalizing being a mother and help them gain access to effective treatment."

Two additional bills have also been filed in the Legislature this session, one specific to sufferers of epilepsy and another that would give medical marijuana patients an affirmative defense in court should they be arrested on charges of marijuana possession. The mothers will be lobbying in support of a solution to the endless suffering their children endure.

Texas: Lawmakers Hold News Conference On Medical Marijuana Legislation

MarisaMarquezTexasStateRepresentative[TheTexasTribune]

State Rep. Marisa Márquez (D-El Paso) and other Texas legislators will hold a news conference Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. CT in the Speaker’s Committee Room to discuss HB 3785 and SB 1839. They will be joined by Fort Worth cancer patient Barbara Humphries and other seriously ill Texans.

HB 3785, introduced by Rep. Márquez in the House, and SB 1839, introduced by Sen. José Menéndez (D-San Antonio) in the Senate, would allow patients with cancer, seizure disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other debilitating conditions to access medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it. It would also allow the Department of State Health Services to establish a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana cultivators, processors, and dispensaries.

The bills differ from previously introduced legislation that would allow access to CBD oils with little or no THC. Many patients have found that THC and other components of whole marijuana are needed in addition to CBD in order to effectively treat their conditions. Some have relocated to states with more comprehensive medical marijuana laws so that they can access whole marijuana and oils that include a more balanced ratio of CBD and THC.

“Thousands of Texas veterans use medical cannabis to treat PTSD, chronic pain, and other service-related disabilities,” said retired U.S. Army Major David Bass. “Veterans should not have to flee the state or depend on the criminal market to access the medication that best fits their needs. Now is the time for Texas to approve safe and legal access to therapeutic cannabis.”

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