Following a flurry of phone calls to members of the House Committee on Calendars, a bill which expands Texas’ medical marijuana program has been scheduled for a vote in the Texas House of Representatives on Monday, May 6.
There was worry that HB 1365, authored by Rep. Eddie Lucio III (D-Brownsville), would either die in committee, waiting to be scheduled as similar legislation did in 2017, or the committee would schedule the bill too late, which would result in the House likely running out of time before voting on the legislation. This prompted phone calls from around the state urging members of the committee to schedule the bill.
Patients, veterans, medical professionals, caregivers, and Texans supporting an expansion to Texas’ medical marijuana program met at the state capitol today and held a press conference to ask that legislators prioritize and vote in favor of HB 1365.
This bill would allow for those with debilitating conditions to access cannabis through the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP). Support for this legislation is strong, having passed unanimously out of the Public Health Committee with the bipartisan support of 65 legislators who have signed on to it.
“Legal access to medical cannabis is a crucial medical freedom that many of those with disabilities can benefit from. It has decreased the number of prescription drugs I need and has greatly improved my quality of life,” said Chase Bearden, Deputy Executive Director of Advocacy for the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities.
Conditions which would now qualify for participation in TCUP should the bill pass include cancer, autism, PTSD, and neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Tourrette syndrome. Other diseases include Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, muscular dystrophy, and multiple