Texas Tackles Medical Marijuana
A medical-marijuana bill with bipartisan backing has been introduced in the Texas legislature, but the measure faces a rocky road ahead, the Dallas Morning News reported Feb. 1y7.
The measure has the backing of two GOP House committee chairs and one Democrat, and calls for legal protection of medical-marijuana users and for doctors to be freer to recommend the drug.
Researchers say 75 percent of Texans support medical marijuana, and 10 other states have passed similar laws. “I've never used an illegal drug in my life, but God forbid any of my loved ones contract some dreaded disease, and if a doctor tells me that may make a difference in the final outcome, I'd be on the street in a heartbeat looking for it. … And how dare a legislator be willing to stand in the way of that?” said one lawmaker.
But some conservative lawmakers and groups like the Texas Eagle Forum oppose medical-marijuana laws. “There are some people who are going to use that as an entry-level drug, and then go into something much more dangerous as far as addiction and drug use is concerned,” said an Eagle Forum spokesperson.
Still, supporters are hopeful about the bill's prospects, saying that the social and political stigma of marijuana use are waning. “With each passing year, there's a better chance for it,” said House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Chairman Terry Keel (R-Austin).