The Texas House of Representatives has voted 96 to 34 to pass Senate Bill 339, a proposal to legalize the medical use of low-THC cannabis for the treatment of epilepsy. The bill, which has already passed the full Senate with a 26 to 5 vote, now heads to Governor Greg Abbott for consideration.
The proposal, if signed by Governor Abbott (or allowed to become law without his signature), will allow those with epilepsy who receive a prescription from a physician to possess and use cannabis that has no more than 0.5% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and at least 10% CBD (cannabidiol). The bill would establish a system of cultivation centers and dispensaries, which would be overseen by the Department of Public Safety.
“Marijuana policy reform has made history in Texas!”, says Ed Espinoza, the Executive Deputy of Progress Texas, a nonprofit policy group. “More than 20,000 people engaged in a serious conversation this year, and we are pleased to see strong support from a bipartisan majority”.
According to advocates of the bill, roughly 150,000 Texans live with intractable epilepsy, many of them children.