Texas lawmakers have approved a bill that allows doctors to recommend medical marijuana as an alternative to prescriptions of opioids to patients who suffer from chronic pain.
This bill was proposed by Rep. Stephanie Klick and will replace the existing one percent THC cap with a volumetric dose of 10 milligrams.
Texas currently allows medical cannabis with low-THC for patients with epilepsy, cancer, spasticity, multiple sclerosis, a seizure disorder, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, and an incurable neurodegenerative disease. Although advocates would like the state to enact more holistic medical cannabis legislation or end prohibition altogether.
A separate House committee had previously unanimously approved a bill that would decriminalize cannabis possession while providing a pathway for records expungement. The Texas Republican Party had adopted a platform endorsing the decriminalization of marijuana possession in 2018, but later rescinded it. Governor Greg Abbott has also expressed that people should not be incarcerated over low-level marijuana possession. However, he mistakenly suggested last year that the policy had already been adopted statewide.
The bill now heads to the Calendars Committee to be scheduled for floor action. Texas lawmakers have been unable to pass additional expansive cannabis bills in recent sessions. Nonetheless, major cities like Austin have already enacted decriminalization locally, and voters passed the reform in five other Texas cities last November.
Furthermore, lawmakers in Texas have filed three bills aimed at expanding research on the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics.