Texas expansion of medical cannabis nears finish line after Senate approval

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The 86th Legislature runs from Jan. 8 to May 27. From the state budget to health care to education policy — and the politics behind it all — we focus on what Texans need to know about the biennial legislative session.

Marijuana advocates were handed an unlikely victory Wednesday after the Texas Senate advanced a bill greatly expanding the list of debilitating medical conditions that can legally be treated by cannabis oil in the state.

Although the upper chamber’s leadership once opposed bills that would relax the state’s pot policies, the Senate unanimously voted in favor of a bill by state Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, that expands the state’s Compassionate Use Program, which currently allows the sale of cannabis oil only to people with intractable epilepsy who meet certain requirements.

The bill now heads back to the Texas House, where lawmakers can either approve the Senate changes or opt to iron out their differences in a conference committee before lawmakers adjourn in five days. Klick did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether she’d accept the Senate changes to her bill.

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Amended medical marijuana bill passes committee unanimously

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Austin, Texas – A bill which would expand Texas’ medical marijuana program has passed out of the House Committee on Public Health with unanimous support.

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 56 state legislators as both authors and coauthors.

Conditions which would now qualify for participation in TCUP 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.

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World Health Organization Recommends Reclassifying Marijuana Under International Treaties

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Global health experts at the United Nations are recommending that marijuana and its key components be formally rescheduled under international drug treaties.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for whole-plant marijuana, as well as cannabis resin, to be removed from Schedule IV—the most restrictive category of a 1961 drug convention signed by countries from around the world.

The body also wants delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its isomers to be completely removed from a separate 1971 drug treaty and instead added to Schedule I of the 1961 convention, according to a WHO document that has not yet been formally released but was circulated by cannabis reform advocates.

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A Newly Proposed Bill, H.R. 420, is Looking to Legalize Marijuana at The Federal Level

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A new bill is proposing marijuana be legalized at the federal level, according to a report by the Marijuana Moment.

H.R. 420, also known as the “Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act,” suggests the federal government treat marijuana like alcohol rather than a controlled substance, which is its current classification under the Controlled Substances Act.

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Texas Marijuana Advocates Set Sights on 2019 Legislative Session

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Texas is poised for historic action in 2019 to ease some marijuana prohibitions and join a national cannabis legalization movement that, to varying degrees, has already swept up all four of its border states.

Or maybe not.

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Getting Out The Marijuana Vote in Texas

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Texas voters will head to the polls this November, and some will be armed with information about the candidates’ stances on various marijuana policies.

Through the collective efforts of numerous people around the state, Texas NORML has produced the Texas Marijuana Policy Voter Guide. The non-profit organization, which is dedicated to changing cannabis laws, routinely publishes this guide during the primaries and general elections. The first such guide was created in 2012.

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FDA Calls for Public Comment on Cannabis Rescheduling

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FDA officials have put out a call for public comment about the potential rescheduling of cannabis and several other substances.

The feds want specifically to hear about the substances’ “abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use.”

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Canada Will Change The World Forever With Marijuana Legalization, Here’s How

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The legalization of recreational marijuana is only days away in Canada. This grand experiment will draw the attention of the world. While legalization may seem like a small innovation amongst the monumental scale of world history, its effects will, in fact, be sweeping.

Marijuana legalization will be transformative. With this step, Canada is poised to change the world and its standing within it. Here’s how:

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