Texas: Medical Cannabis Bill Supported by Majority of House, Moves Forward

Texas: Medical Cannabis Bill Supported by Majority of House, Moves Forward - Weed FinderUPDATE: After a big bipartisan push on and off the House floor Friday, Public Health Committee Chair Four Price, R-Amarillo, called an impromptu meeting to vote on HB 2107 just before 5 p.m. The bill passed 7-2, with Price and Representative Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, opposing. The measure now advances to the calendars committee, where Chair Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, can schedule the bill for debate on the House floor. The House has until May 11 to consider the legislation.

ORIGINAL POST: On Thursday, Representative Jason Isaac got a text from one his constituents that moved him to tears.

“Catherine had 32 seizures yesterday,” wrote Terri Carriker of her 15-year-old daughter, who has severe epilepsy. “She took an extra 1500 mgs of one med and 20 of Valium on top of her regular meds.” Carriker included a photo of Catherine curled up on a couch, asleep. “This is the effect of that today.”

Terri says Catherine tried medical marijuana and it reduced the number of seizures she suffers from an average of  8 to 10 a day to none or two. It also has none of the debilitating side-effects of the powerful drugs she takes to control her epilepsy. But pot, of course, is illegal in Texas — something that Carriker and Isaac want to change.

“I’m crying again,” the Dripping Springs Republican texted back.

This week, Carriker came to the Texas Capitol to testify in favor of House Bill 2107, co-authored by Isaac, which would allow the use of medical marijuana by qualifying patients with severe medical conditions, at the recommendation of their doctor. Families, patients and advocates flooded the House Public Health Committee hearing Tuesday night to support the bill, sharing personal stories of how cannabis helped ease suffering from cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), epilepsy, autism and cerebral palsy when pharmaceuticals failed. Of about 70 people who testified, one was against the bill.

“Between the drugs and the seizures, we basically lost the daughter we had,” Carriker said at the hearing.

The number of sponsors jumped from six to 76 in the two days after the hearing, including 29 Republicans. Eight of the 11 committee members signed on to the bill, authored by Representative Eddie Lucio III, D-Brownsville, which gives supporters the majority needed to pass the bill out of committee — if Chair Four Price, R-Amarillo, brings it to a vote.

(Texas: Medical Cannabis Bill Supported by Majority of House, Moves Forward – Weed Finder® | Article Credit: The Texas Observer)