Earlier this week Texas lawmakers held a public hearing on House Bill 594, a medical marijuana measure which would protect qualified patients in the state by adding an “affirmative defense”. This law, which is similar to affirmative defense laws in places like Washington State, gives individuals who receive an authorization from a physician a legal defense from prosecution. `
Although in this instance patients can still be technically prosecuted, it has to be done by a jury which explicitly ignores the state’s law. Given how high support is in the public for medical marijuana, the rate of prosecution in these instances are so low that in states like Washington, it’s effectively legalized medical marijuana, eventually leading to dozens of safe access points operating throughout the state. The proposal also adds firm arrest protection to physicians who recommend that their patients use medical marijuana.