The state of Texas is home to a number of suffering patients that would benefit from using cannabis.
Unfortunately, most of them do not have safe access to medical cannabis in Texas nor do they have legal protection from Texas’s cannabis prohibition laws.
One of those patients is Pat.
Pat agreed to speak to Green Flower Media if we only used her first name because she is afraid of being persecuted, which is understandable.
Pat is like many people in Texas who suffer from various conditions and find relief from consuming the cannabis plant, yet are prevented from legally doing so.
If Pat lived in most other states she would qualify to be a medical cannabis patient, but not in her home state of Texas.
Pat’s battle with cancer
Pat’s story about how she learned that she had cancer is heartbreaking.
She had recently lost two family members to cancer, and the day before her 52nd birthday she was diagnosed.
Her birthday was supposed to serve as a positive day in what had been a long period of sadness in her life, but sadly, that didn’t happen.
Instead, she spent her birthday alone in her apartment wondering and worrying what would come next. Pat knew that whatever the future held for her, she had a long fight ahead.
The next several weeks were full of doctor appointments and consultations, as well as a laundry list of treatments and prescriptions.
Pat finds an effective medicine
When traditional treatments and medications did not seem like they were working, she did something that seemed extreme to her at the time – she turned to cannabis.
A friend recommended that Pat try cannabis in addition to what she was already doing, and offered to supply her with cannabis oil if she promised not to tell anyone where she got it, which she agreed to.
Very quickly Pat’s cancer levels went down, and her doctors declared it a miraculous recovery. She still to this day has not mentioned that she used cannabis.
Pat is extremely happy to be virtually cancer-free and is very thankful for her friend’s help in acquiring cannabis, but she wants to continue to use cannabis oil to help maintain her health and prevent the cancer from coming back.
With her friend moving out of the state, she has found it very difficult to find cannabis oil of any quality, let alone medical grade cannabis oil that has been tested. Sadly, Pat is not alone.
The issue with Texas Medical Cannabis
The Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 339, the Texas Compassionate Use Act, in 2015.
The legislation created Texas’s medical cannabis program, which is one of the strictest medical cannabis programs in the nation.
Only one diagnosis is on the list of qualifying conditions via which Texans can become medical cannabis patients – intractable epilepsy. No other condition qualifies, no matter how severe or debilitating it is.
Texas’s medical cannabis law requires that the state issue at least three licenses to cultivate, process and dispense ‘low-THC’ cannabis.
In early February the first patient accessed legal cannabis in Texas, which is good news for patients that qualify for the program and benefit from low-THC cannabis.
However, for every patient that qualifies for the program and benefits from low-THC cannabis, countless others do not, such as Pat, who needs to remain on a maintenance dose to keep her cancer away.
Too many suffering patients in Texas are left on the outside looking in, which is sad on many levels. For those that do not qualify for the program, medicating can come with serious consequences.
What are Texas cannabis laws for non-registered patients?
Below is a summary of Texas’s cannabis laws:
- Possession of less than 2 ounces is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine
- Possession of 2-4 ounces is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $4,000 fine
- Anything over 4 ounces is a felony punishable by a mandatory 180 days in jail up to 99 years in prison
- Selling more than 7 grams of cannabis is a felony
- Possession of any amount of cannabis concentrates is a felony
Even falsifying a drug test is punishable in Texas by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. Anyone convicted of any cannabis offense will see their Texas driver’s license automatically get suspended.
As you can see, Texas patients risk a lot by choosing to consume cannabis, even for medical purposes.
What can you do to help change Texas medical cannabis laws?
Unlike most states that have passed comprehensive medical cannabis measures, Texas does not have a citizen initiative process.
A citizen initiative process involves citizens gathering a set amount of valid signatures in order to put a measure on an election ballot.
The only way to improve Texas’s harmful cannabis laws is via Texas’s Legislature. If you live in Texas, you need to find out who your legislators are and get in contact with them ASAP.
Urge them to have some compassion and pass a comprehensive medical cannabis bill that helps all of the suffering patients in Texas that benefit from cannabis, not just ones that suffer from intractable epilepsy.
Arm yourself with the facts that can be easily found on this website and pass them along to your lawmakers. Patients like Pat depend on it!
Texas medical cannabis can be much better if more people work together.
You can also help change cannabis laws by starting dialogues in your community.