So this happened in Texas last week: the governor signed a bill into law that allows patients suffering from epilepsy to have access to CBD-high cannabis oil (and nothing else). Unfortunately, the new legislation does not come as a relief for those patients who qualify. According to High Times, the state of Texas will grant permission only to those patients “who have been unsuccessful in reducing the frequency of their seizures with at least two different pharmaceutical drugs”. And that’s not the end, because the legislature requires patients “to be given permission by two state-licensed physicians before they can be approved for the medication”. How does this help the patients is beyond us. And there’s even more to this!
Texas won’t legalize marijuana for medicinal or recreational use
Governor Abbott concluded his first legislative session by stating that cannabis laws have nothing to hope for under his watch because he is determined not to legalize medical marijuana as well as recreational for as long as he is in the office. He said this while signing a bill that gives epilepsy patients access to low doses of CBD-high cannabis oil. “There is currently no cure for intractable epilepsy and many patients have had little to no success with currently approved drugs,” Gov. Abbott said in a statement. “However, we have seen promising results from CBD oil testing and with the passage of this legislation, there is now hope for thousands of families who deal with the effects of intractable epilepsy every day.” Given the conservative background of both the state of Texas and its Republican governor, many supporters of legalization have expressed hope that even this limited step is a step toward change in Texas.
New legislation short of providing real relief
Those epilepsy patients who qualify under the restrictive nature of the new legislation, will be granted permission for the use of CBD oil only if they have been unsuccessful in reducing the frequency of their seizures with at least two different pharmaceutical drugs. It is not clear for how long do qualifying patients have to keep trying out these two pharmaceutical drugs; however, that’s not all the patients are required to do. They also need to be given permission by two state-licensed physicians before they can be really approved for the medication.
Hole-in-a-sheet approach to a medical marijuana program
It seems as if the writer of the bill forgot that marijuana is a Schedule I drug, just like heroine. Not only was this a bunch of unnecessary hurdles but also a dead letter on a paper – a worthless bill – because its language permits the physicians to prescribe the CBD oil, which is something that no physicians with their brains still inside their skull would do as they risk loosing their license and being sent to prison. “Doctors may not ‘prescribe’ marijuana for medical use under federal law, though they can ‘recommend’ its use under the First Amendment,” according to Americans For Safe Access. This is how other states which legalized medical marijuana solved the conflict of state and federal law and why Texas will have to rewrite that bill and make it a new, more reasonable law.