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Just when you think you’ve figured out the Texas Republican party, they go and pull some stunt that makes you think it’s not all bibles and big business in the GOP.

On Friday, two Republicans from the reddest parts of the reddest state in the country proposed a bill in the leg that could pave the way for the legalization of medical marijuana in Texas.

Sen. Kevin Eltife from Tyler and Rep. Stephanie Klick from Fort Worth filed identical legislation called the Texas Compassionate Use Act, which would allow patients with intractable epilepsy to be treated with medical marijuana:

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“Senate Bill 339 and House Bill 892 would regulate the growth and dispensation of cannabidiol (CBD) oil, an oil extracted from the cannabis plant. Patients with intractable epilepsy have seen dramatic reductions in seizures through the use of CBD oil without exhibiting adverse reactions.

“As filed, these bills require this oil to not contain more than 0.5 percent tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) and not less than 10 percent CBD by weight. This level of THC, the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, is not sufficient to get the consumer ‘high,’ even in large doses.”

Alexis Bortell, a 9 year old girl from Rowlett who suffers from epilepsy, has become the poster child for medical marijuana. Her supporters created Team Alexis, to advocate for her and others to get their hands on potentially life-saving cannabis oils without having to go to Colorado.

The proposed bills got a ‘heck yeah’ from The Texas Epilepsy Foundation. Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP) voiced support for the bill on its website, but is advocating for more far-reaching legislation.

“Colorado, a state with whole plant access, has led the nation in high-CBD marijuana strains while also helping patients who benefit from THC – such as those with cancer, muscular sclerosis, and PTSD,” the statement says. “RAMP advocates a bill that allows the entire plant to be accessed as medicine for qualifying conditions including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, and conditions causing seizures, severe pain, severe nausea, and muscle spasms.”

6 COMMENTS

  1. “Low-THC strain only” seems to be a new trend in prohibitionist propaganda rhetoric.

    Read carefully:

    Charlotte’s story and the concern for other young patients have led some lawmakers to consider passing legislation that only allows patients to access marijuana oils that are high in CBD and that have little or no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). While it is heartening to see lawmakers’ concern for the plight of patients with catastrophic seizure disorders, these proposals unfortunately exclude the vast majority of those who can benefit from medical marijuana, some of whom also face life-threatening ailments.

    Relative Rarity

    While CBD appears to be particularly effective at treating seizures, the number of individuals treating seizure disorders through medical marijuana programs is relatively low. For example, only 2% of the registered patients in both Rhode Island and Colorado report seizures as their qualifying conditions. While it is imperative that these individuals be allowed to legally access medical marijuana – and the strain they need – it is just as important to remember that there are tens of thousands of other men and women and a small number of children who suffer from a variety of debilitating conditions whose symptoms are alleviated by medical marijuana. The vast majority of those patients have symptoms that benefit from strains of marijuana that include more than trace amounts of THC.

    THC: Why It Matters

    Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is just one of the roughly 85 cannabinoids found naturally in marijuana. Clinical trials and the experiences of hundreds of thousands of patients have shown that THC, and strains of marijuana that include THC, provide important medical benefits for individuals suffering from pain, multiple sclerosis, nausea, and wasting disease. THC is also the cannabinoid most responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects. While THC does cause marijuana’s “high,” patients use marijuana for relief, not for euphoria. Patients who inhale marijuana can titrate their dosage precisely to use only as much as they need, reducing or eliminating the euphoria. Some use marijuana only before bed.

    The federal government has officially recognized THC’s medical properties since 1985, when the FDA approved a prescription drug that is made of synthetic THC — Marinol — for nausea. Yet, Marinol is not adequate for many patients who can benefit from marijuana. For nauseated patients, a pill can be impossible to keep down. Meanwhile, many patients benefit from the synergistic effect of THC and the other cannabinoids, such as CBD. Natural marijuana is less intoxicating than Marinol because patients can titrate their dosage and other cannabinoids moderate THC’s psychoactive properties.

    Studies have shown that marijuana that includes THC can alleviate a host of debilitating conditions, including:

    Nausea and appetite loss: Researchers have found THC and marijuana with THC are effective anti-emetics and appetite stimulants for individuals suffering from the side effects of cancer chemotherapy or AIDS treatments.
    Multiple sclerosis: Research has found that marijuana with THC can alleviate spasticity. In addition, Canada, the U.K., and several other countries approved an oral marijuana extract made of equal proportions of CBD and THC.
    Pain: Several studies have found that marijuana strains that include THC can alleviate neuropathic pain — a notoriously difficult-to-treat nerve pain commonly found in amputees, AIDS patients, and patients with multiple sclerosis.
    Since the 1970’s, the federal government has been providing a handful of individuals who suffer from various ailments with marijuana grown at the University of Mississippi as part of the Compassionate Investigational New Drug program. The four surviving patients still receiving federal marijuana receive a strain with almost no CBD that has been essential to managing their conditions — a rare bone spur disorder, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and a painful condition called nail patella syndrome, respectively. The marijuana these individuals have benefitted from would not be allowed under CBD-only proposals.

    Conclusion

    Medical marijuana legislation should not be so restrictive as to leave behind around 98% of the individuals who can benefit from it. THC has proven medical benefits and individuals who can benefit from strains that include it should not be forgotten when legislators debate medical marijuana bills.

    http://www.mpp.org/assets/documents/low-or-no-thc-high-cbd.html

    • Marijuana needs to be taxes and regulated just like alcohol. Anything less is still prohibition.

      Here is how to find the contact information to email your elected officials in Texas:

      http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

      I encourage people to contact your elected officials and tell them that you support an end to marijuana prohibition.

  2. What’s crazy to me is that the handwringers who oppose high-CBD cannabis oil because it has a small amount of THC in it seem to be willfully ignorant of the fact that pure THC is already legally sold in pharmacies in every American state (under the brand name Marinol™ or as the generic drug, dronabinol) & has been without incident since 1985.

    Why no outrage about the pure THC pills that Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, etc. sell?

    http://www.marinol.com

    “MARINOL Capsules contain man-made dronabinol (THC). THC is also a naturally occuring component of Cannabis sativa L. (marijuana).”

  3. I beg to differ. Dronabinol is not THC. The use of marijuana for medical purposes doesn’t rely on a single drug or combination of 2 drugs found in marijuana. It relies on the compounding of naturally occurring chemicals found in marijuana.
    Using just one or two of the extracts from marijuana is just a political ploy to play like politicians are on the side of cancer patients as a way of trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes and keep their position.
    Rest assures, the millions of affected voters aren’t buying into the watered-down version of a medical marijuana bill that removes some of the oxygen from H2O and calling it something else. Especially when that something else may as well be water.

    Its time our politicians stepped up to the plate and acted like our representatives instead of the political who**s they are.

    How about a real live medical marijuana bill that would actually produce results and relief instead of this fear of actually having THC in the medicine?

    Why not step up and be the representatives that actually represent the thoughts and feelings of the voters instead of what you learned in high school back in the 50s and 60s?
    How about being the legislature that goes down in Texas history that actually has the guts to make a difference instead of creating another private toll road?

  4. I have tried pure CBD and found it less effective for pain than a combination of THC and CBD. There are several marijuana strains available on the recreational market in Colorado which have effective levels of both. These include Cannatonic, Reserva Privada, Hashberry, and Harlequin.
    Unfortunately, some of the better strains for pain relief and anxiety are only available medically, and you must be a Colorado resident with a Colorado physician to use them.
    We will all be dead and gone before Texas enters the modern world and approves the use of marijuana.

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