Texas expansion of medical cannabis nears finish line after Senate approval

texasflagmarijuana

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.

Continue reading “Texas expansion of medical cannabis nears finish line after Senate approval”

What New Marijuana Laws Might Pass in Texas This Year?

tx.jpg

Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, a coalition that includes NORML and a couple dozen other groups, is prioritizing two bills this year: one that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and another to legalize marijuana for medical use.

Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, is sponsoring the decriminalization bill for the third time. In 2016, more than 66,000 Texans were arrested for marijuana possession, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Moody hopes to cut this down by replacing the criminal penalty for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana with a fine.

Continue reading “What New Marijuana Laws Might Pass in Texas This Year?”