Texas Medical Marijuana Program Faces Unpaved Roads

Many consider Texas to be Ground Zero

Image: Photo of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945. From the Library of Congress.

Many consider the state of Texas to be Ground Zero in the U.S. federal government’s war on marijuana. At the turn of the 20th Century, Mexican immigrants bringing marijuana into the U.S. were demonized by law enforcement officials. It was claimed that the use of cannabis was the cause of violent crimes and that these immigrants were distributing “killer weed” to unsuspecting American schoolchildren. Lawmakers eager to suppress the U.S. hemp industry and eliminate competition for their lumber and cotton industries used this as an excuse to make the cultivation of hemp illegal. A century later, we’re still working to reverse this tragedy which has cost U.S. taxpayers billions.

Texas has been slower than many U.S. states to come around and listen to reason. Cannabis possession is a misdemeanor in Texas, but even possession of a single joint can result in 180-days in jail.

Recently there was much debate as to the legality of CBD oil from hemp, which can be purchased on websites and at some shops in Texas. While the state threatened to make the product illegal, and even raided one shop selling CBD, lawmakers backed down on threats after a public uproar.

The Compassionate Use Act was passed and signed by the Governor  in 2015, it was not actually implemented until 2017. Although advocates claim the Compassionate Use law doesn’t go nearly far enough to deserve the label of “compassionate,” it is a step in the right direction.

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