Texas House Overwhelmingly Passes Two Major Marijuana ReformsPosted by On

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Compassionate Cultivation, a medical marijuana dispensary in Manchaca, Texas, in December 2017.

Compassionate Cultivation, a medical marijuana dispensary in Manchaca, Texas, in December 2017.
Photo: Eric Gay (AP)

By large margins, the Texas House passed two bills this week that would create a less punitive legal environment for possession of recreational marijuana and allow more Texans to participate in the state’s medical marijuana program.

Despite overwhelming support in the lower chamber, the lowered penalties for possession are likely to face a hostile reception from Republicans in the state Senate and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. The medical marijuana reform also faces an uncertain future despite near-unanimous support in the House. The opposition to a more permissive stance stands in stark opposition to polling that has demonstrated majority and growing support for outright legalization of small amounts of weed, with one recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll finding 60 percent of voters believe “possession of small or large amounts of marijuana for any purpose should be legal.”

On Thursday, per the Texas Tribune, the House passed Bill 1535, which would expand the state’s medical marijuana program—which currently allows patients with “terminal cancer, intractable epilepsy, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism, or incurable neurodegenerative” conditions—to also allow patients with chronic pain, any cancer, or post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the Tribune, just 3,500 patients…

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Compassionate Cultivation, a medical marijuana dispensary in Manchaca, Texas, in December 2017.

Compassionate Cultivation, a medical marijuana dispensary in Manchaca, Texas, in December 2017.
Photo: Eric Gay (AP)

By large margins, the Texas House passed two bills this week that would create a less punitive legal environment for possession of recreational marijuana and allow more Texans to participate in the state’s medical marijuana program.

Despite overwhelming support in the lower chamber, the lowered penalties for possession are likely to face a hostile reception from Republicans in the state Senate and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. The medical marijuana reform also faces an uncertain future despite near-unanimous support in the House. The opposition to a more permissive stance stands in stark opposition to polling that has demonstrated majority and growing support for outright legalization of small amounts of weed, with one recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll finding 60 percent of voters believe “possession of small or large amounts of marijuana for any purpose should be legal.”

On Thursday, per the Texas Tribune, the House passed Bill 1535, which would expand the state’s medical marijuana program—which currently allows patients with “terminal cancer, intractable epilepsy, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism, or incurable neurodegenerative” conditions—to also allow patients with chronic pain, any cancer, or post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the Tribune, just 3,500 patients…



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