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Medical Marijuana Advances Out of Committee! (And next steps!)

Today the Public Health Committee in the House advanced medical cannabis!

Today at the Capitol, the Public Health Committee approved Rep. Lucio III’s HB 1365, which expands medical access to cannabis. The bill was amended and passed with unanimous support from committee members!

Take Action Texas Two-Step!
Time is tight to move bills forward, so we need you to take action today — Call your representative!

  1. Identify your representative and their Capitol office phone number.
  2. Call your Texas State Representative to ask that they join 54 other legislators by becoming a co-author for this important legislation and remind them to vote YES for HB 1365 when it’s up for a vote on the House floor.

Here is a script you can use:

Hello, my name is ___ and I am a constituent. I would like to request that my representative become a co-author for Representative Lucio’s HB 1365 and vote yes for the bill once it is considered on the House Floor.

Please note that the following legislators have already co-authored this legislation. If your representative is on this list, please call to thank them!

Rep. Lucio’s bill was amended by the committee in several ways, including the establishment of a Cannabis Therapeutic Research Review Board (CTRRB), adding an important in-state research program, and requiring participating doctors to be educated on medical cannabis. The bill also offers ample patient protections, including parental rights and protection for students who need to use cannabis at school. (Overview of amended bill.)

Unfortunately, a few of the key changes we wanted to see have been removed. In order to participate, physicians are still required to “prescribe” cannabis. In an attempt to protect doctors, the bill does define “prescription” in a way that offers some state-level protection. Another change maintains the low cap (.5%) on THC. However, the CTRRB will have the authority and duty to “determine the formulations and dosages, including rations of cannabinoids, that are medically appropriate for patients with particular debilitating medical conditions.” This means we can work with the Board to increase THC levels/ratios, rather than having to pass a law to do so.

What comes next?

  1. Once the bill is reported the Calendars Committee, it’ll be scheduled for debate and a vote by the House of Representatives. Call your representative now using the instructions above.
  2. Ask your Texas State Senator to support SB 90! Texas patients need safe access to medical marijuana.
  3. Did you miss our big lobby day in February? Here is your second chance to participate. Join us on April 23rd to lobby for sensible marijuana policy at the Texas State Capitol!
  4. We’re more than halfway to our crowdfunding goal. Will you pitch toward our efforts at the Capitol? (Thank you!)
  5. Join us for Direct Actions at the Capitol on Wednesday, April 24th and Wednesday, May 1st. We will be distributing information to all of the legislative offices.

This is a positive step forward for this important legislation, but there is still a lot of work to do. We will need all hands-on deck over the next week, so stay tuned for our action alerts!

Past NORML News