Limited Medical Marijuana Bill sent to Gov
What was considered to be a long-shot happened Tuesday at the State Capitol. Medical marijuana legislation won final approval and is now being sent to the Governor for his signature.
It is a far cry from legalizing marijuana but the CBD Oil legislation pushed through by state Rep. Stephanie Klick may still be considered landmark.
"I think this is going to help patients without the risk of abuse," said the Republican from Fort Worth.
Tuesday house members questioned Klick one last time about how SB 339 would not lead Texas down the same path Colorado has taken.
"This is kind of like the difference between grape juice and wine, and we are legalizing grape juice," said Rep. Klick during a brief floor discussion.
The oil - which is extracted from marijuana only has trace levels of THC and does not produce a high. The goal is to help people who suffer from intractable epileptic seizures.
"For these folks they've tried all of the FDA approved treatments, they have no other options; we ought to give them the right to try," said Klick.
The legislation- which cleared the senate earlier this month- won final approval in the House on a 108 to 38 vote.
The Department of Public Safety will regulate who can grow marijuana to make the oil and also monitor how it is dispensed, but there are still those who believe there is a flaw in the legislation that will get doctors into trouble with the feds.
"Our biggest concern is that doctors who want to take this step to prescribe medical cannabis for epileptic patients are going to be jeopardizing their DEA registration and they are going to be put in a tough position," said Heather Fazio with the Marijuana Policy Project.
Analyst with the Marijuana Policy Project's believes the only way to fix what they consider to be flawed legislation is to change the wording from "prescribe" to "recommend" or "certify." But Representative Klick told FOX 7 a fix has already been addressed.
"Back in December Congress passed an Amendment to the Omnibus spending bill that any state that has a frame work in place that allows the use of these products for patients for medicinal use the feds are not going to pursue charges," said Rep. Klick.
There is also disagreement about whether or not the CBD Oil bill will help improve the odds for more medical marijuana legislation in future sessions.
The Governor has about 10 days to sign or veto SB 339. He could also allow it to become law without his signature.