Texas will become the 33rd state to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients if a bill introduced by State Senator José Martinez on Nov. 12 becomes law. Senate Bill 90 would allow doctors in the Lone Star State to prescribe cannabis just as they would any other medicine. Currently, only intractable epilepsy sufferers may be prescribed the drug under the Texas Compassionate Use Act.

In a press release supporting his latest effort to soften the state’s stance on marijuana, Martinez said that the current laws make criminals out of otherwise law-abiding individuals who merely seek relief from medicine that is legal in all of the states neighboring Texas. Martinez also points out that research proves marijuana’s efficacy at treating a wide range of conditions that affect the young, the old and veterans. These conditions include cancer, autism, opioid addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Martinez has long advocated for more lenient marijuana laws in Texas. He filed bills in both 2015 and 2017 that called for the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, and he was coauthor of the 2015 law that allows low doses of THC to be prescribed to individuals who suffer epileptic seizures that do not respond to other forms of medicine.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys would likely support legislation that takes a more lenient approach to marijuana use. When representing individuals accused of possessing small quantities of the drug, attorneys might remind prosecutors that their clients would not even have faced arrest in a rapidly growing list of states. Attorneys may also point out to prosecutors that lawmakers in many of these states are currently considering or have already passed laws that expunge the records of individuals convicted on marijuana-related drug charges.

Source: KIII TV, San Antonio state senator files medical marijuana bill for Texas, Eleanor Skelton, Nov. 12, 2018Source: The Texas Department of Public Safety, Compassionate Use Program, Eleanor Skelton, Nov. 12, 2018