AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas House passed HB 1365 on Monday night which would significantly increase the number of Texans with access to medical marijuana.
The House passed the bill 121-23.
Now the Texas Senate takes up the measure.
Currently, Texas’s Compassionate Use Program only helps patients with intractable epilepsy.
If HB 1365 becomes law, it would expand that list of qualifying conditions, so more people with debilitating conditions would be allowed to access low-THC cannabis.
Those 14 additional conditions include autism, cancer and Alzheimer’s.
A group of mothers clustered around a cafeteria table in the basement of the Texas Capitol Monday strategizing.
“We’re coordinating which offices we’re going to hit,” explained Bonnie Jensen.
The women are members of MAMMA, Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism.
A clipboard held a list of lawmakers, color coded according to how they are expected to vote on a proposed expansion to the state’s Compassionate Use Act, which currently allows only patients with intractable epilepsy to purchase and consume medical cannabis.
“We’re ready. We’re ready to see some movement on this,” said Tracy McCain, of Carrollton, whose 24-year-old son, Walker, has autism.
As a teen, he rubbed his skin raw hitting himself in the face.
Now, the 24 year old uses CBD oil, despite its murky legal status.
“It has been a game changer for him. It’s really been – I don’t want to use the word miracle – but it’s helped him tremendously,” said McCain.
Two years ago, she and other members of MAMMA lobbied legislators to add autism to the list of the eligible conditions, but the proposed legislation never made it to the House floor for a vote.