The Senate Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing and the quickly voted to unanimously pass HB 3703, a proposal to make low-THC cannabis available to those with all seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, and spasticity. Senator Donna Campbell has sponsored the bill in the Senate and offered a committee substitute of the legislation. Her substitute would also add terminal cancer, incurable neurodegenerative disease, autism, and ALS. However, conditions such as PTSD, chronic pain and other service related disabilities were not included in the qualifying conditions list. This is especially disappointing since those conditions were included in HB 1365 (inclusive medical cannabis), which did not get scheduled for a hearing in time to progress.
Legislators have an opportunity to amend the bill one last time on the Senate floor to include more conditions. They have been considering adding PTSD and chronic pain so they need to hear from Veterans on this topic. The Senate debate on this could be as early as Sunday night, though it could later. Not just veterans live with these conditions, but veterans can be the tip of the spear to push them to include these important conditions.
(If you have PTSD and chronic pain but are not a veteran, please ask your senator to make the Texas Compassionate Use Program more inclusive!)
Time is very short with the session ending on May 27th. We have one last opportunity to have the bill improved by amendments, Senate floor debate. It is imperative that every Republican Senator and the Lt Governor hear from Texas Veterans who need access to medical cannabis. Veterans and their fellow patients cannot wait another two years!
With Memorial Day approaching, the best way our senators can support veterans is by supporting service related disabilities being added to the qualifying conditions list. Not just veterans suffer from many of these conditions, so let’s continue to fight for all Texans medical freedoms!
PS Learn more about the details from yesterday’s hearing.