420 with CNW – Texas Governor Signs Bill to Expand Medical Marijuana Program

On Friday last week (June 14), Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill that is focused on increasing the number of qualifying conditions for which patients can be licensed to use medical marijuana in the state.

House Bill 3703 gives doctors permission to recommend any patient who suffers from seizure disorders (intractable epilepsy, for example), spasticity, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, autism and several other conditions to access medical marijuana whose THC content doesn’t exceed 0.5 percent from the dispensaries licensed by the state.

Joshua Raine, an Army veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, is one of the patients who pleaded with legislators to include PTSD among the qualifying conditions for which someone can use medical marijuana.

He told the lawmakers that he has lost more friends (who are veterans) to suicide induced by PTSD than the number of friends he lost during combat operations. He admitted that without medical marijuana, he too could have committed suicide.

Blake Novacek is another patient who is likely to benefit from the enactment of this law. He was attacked violently during a fraternity pledge and that attack caused him to develop seizures. In fact, while waiting to talk to legislators during the debate on the medical marijuana expansion bill, Novacek started convulsing violently as the gravity of his situation showed itself at the state Capitol.

His father (a former Dallas Cowboys player) and mother pleaded to be given a chance to access medical cannabis legally so that they can save the life of their son. In the past, cannabis has helped massively, they added.

Texas is one of the most conservative states in terms of marijuana policy reform. The marijuana program in this state is so restrictive that the only form of medical cannabis allowed is cannabis oil whose THC content is much lower than what advocates say is required for therapeutic purposes.

Nonetheless, advocates are glad that the state has taken this modest step to expand the list of qualifying conditions from the very narrow version which has existed since low-THC cannabis oil was legalized as a form of treatment. Activists hope that more incremental reforms will be enacted until Texas’ medical marijuana program is at par with programs in other states.

Many Texans keep wondering how companies like The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TSX: TGOD) (OTCQX: TGODF) and The Flowr Corporation (TSX.V: FLWR) (OTC: FLWPF) handle the frustration of thinking that a major decision was made without paying ample attention to the scientific information available but instead unfounded fears took the day.

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