Texas Legislature considers expanding medical marijuana
(KTEN) — The State of Texas currently has a Compassionate Use Program that lets doctors prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients with cancer, epilepsy, and certain other medical conditions.
"Primarily we see it in cancer patients, because it does help with improve their appetite, feeling like they can eat," explained Medicine Shoppe staff pharmacist Don Stone.
House Bill 1805 would expand the state's medical marijuana program to those who suffer with chronic pain; patients who are often prescribed opioids for relief.
"THC has seen value in inflammatory conditions, which can cause pain and anxiety," said Stone. "If it does that and gets people off opioids, and is controllable, then it will be a lot of value, because the opioid problem is a big problem."
Texas resident Cathy McCullough believes this would improve quality of life for many patients.
"If they can't get the kind of pain medications that they need because they're so highly addictive and causing so much death in the United States, I think that's the next best thing," she said.
Stone would like to see medical cannabis closely regulated if lawmakers expand the Compassionate Use Program.
"I like to see it be restricted to pharmacies so that it can be controlled like other drugs that are abused," he said.
House Bill 1805 was filed Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-District 91) in January, and it won unanimous approval from the House Public Health Committee this week. It would still need to be passed by both the full House and Senate and signed by the governor before implementation.