DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Could medical marijuana soon be legal in Texas?
Right now, lawmakers, on both sides of the aisle, have proposed legislation to allow limited use of the drug.
There are two sets of bills in the state legislature – one from Democrats and one from rRpublicans. Both would, to some degree, legalize medicinal marijuana.
It’s good news to the parents of Kara Zartler. The 15-year-old is severely autistic, who at times, obsessively punches herself and attacks those who try to interfere.
“She’s dangerous to herself, she’s dangerous to her caregiver,” says mother Christy.
After running out of drugs to try, her parents have now found hope talking to families in Colorado who are treating similar symptoms with cannabis oil, a medicinal form of marijuana.
“It helps their pain. It helps their stomach. It calms their nerves,” she explains.
Bills filed by Republican lawmakers in January would allow doctors to prescribe cannabis with low levels of THC, the chemical that gives marijuana users their euphoric “high”.
According to the bill’s authors, the legislation would expand treatment options for 149,000 Texans with intractable epilepsy.
But advocates like the Zartlers say they’d like to see effective treatments for other illnesses, like their daughter’s autism, that require higher levels of THC.
“I don’t think the legislature needs to decide this. I think it needs to be a medical decision,” said Christy.
Democratic lawmakers filed bills Friday to legalize the medical use of cannabis without limits on THC.
Christy says she’s optimistic it could make life with her daughter more peaceful.
Both bills would create a state registry of patients authorized to use cannabis and licensing requirements for businesses selling it. Neither would allow any recreational use of the drug.
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