A medical marijuana bill in the Texas House of Representatives is on track to have the same fate it received during the 2017 legislative session, dying in the Calendars committee.
HB 1365, filed by Rep. Eddie Lucio III (D-Brownsville), would expand the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP) to include more qualifying conditions and would allow more doctors to work with patients in the program. The legislation currently has the bi-partisan support of 65 state legislators as both authors and coauthors.
According to Heather Fazio, director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, the bill is being stalled, and she is requesting that Texans call members of the Calendars committee and ask that HB 1365 be scheduled for a vote in the House.
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 sclerosis.
Beyond specifically designated medical conditions, the bill also covers endocannabinoid deficiency, cachexia or wasting syndrome, neuropathy, severe nausea, seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms, tic disorders, and any other approved medical condition or symptom caused by the treatment of a medical condition.
While the bill, which was heavily amended in order to pass out of the Public Health Committee, does not raise THC caps, which are currently set at 0.5 percent, a new board that would be established and filled by Gov. Greg Abbott would have the ability to look at medical issues and decide if more THC is needed for those patients.
Since its inception in 2015, TCUP has been extremely limited in scope, serving only patients with intractable epilepsy who have