Marijuana reform in Texas may not be far-fetched - FOX34 Lubbock

Marijuana reform in Texas may not be far-fetched

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

There is still nearly two months until the 2019 legislative session in Texas. 

Already nearly a dozen bills have been filed relating to the use of marijuana. The bills range from decriminalization,to full legalization,to simply increasing the amount of patients who have access to medical cannabis.

Jake Syma, with Hub City NORML, said the legislature passing one of these 11 bills is not far fetched.

"Both of the major parties in Texas have at least medical in their party platform," Syma said. 

Texas Democrats endorsed medical marijuana a couple years ago, while Republicans added it to their party platform last year.

"If you look at the Governor's words over time, you'll see they've gotten less harsh, less absolute," he said. "There's wiggle room in his words."

Of the bills filed, six deal with medical cannabis. SB90 by San Antonio Sen. Jose Menendez has the best chance of passing, said Syma. It would expand the amount of Texans eligible to use marijuana.

"Complete decrim is probably a step too far this session."

Currently every state touching Texas has had some form of reform relating to the medicinal use.

"If it's in every state around us. How is Texas going to deal with the fact that it's going to come across the border," George Comiskey, with Texas Tech's Addictive Disorders and Recovery Studies, said. "Are we going to make criminals of people who are going to Oklahoma and New Mexico and Louisiana to get it?"

Comiskey said while there are some concerns associated with marijuana usage, the benefits for those who need it outweigh the risks.

"If it's not generally available and there's a therapeutic dose that's being prescribed, I don't see that it's going to create huge problems," he said. 

We attempted to reached out to Lubbock lawmakers. Most said it is still too early and have not had a chance  to fully research the bills.

The Republican caucus will meet Dec. 1st to set policy priorities for the upcoming session.

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