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Texas Lawmakers are Under Pressure to Extend Medical Marijuana Use and Even Decriminalization

Since the Compassionate Use Program (CUP), the state’s medicinal marijuana program, was established by the Texas Legislature around 8 years ago, it is still one of the strictest in the country.

The list of diseases for which medicinal cannabis could be given has been expanded by state legislature multiple times; in 2021, PTSD and all cancer types were included. However, records from the Department of Public Safety show that as of December, somewhat more than 43,000 people were registered in the program.

And according to experts, even fewer people have access to cannabis under CUP. Most who qualify are turned off by the law’s restriction on the THC amount of cannabis products, and persons with chronic pain, a condition recognized by other states’ medical marijuana laws, are still unable to access it.

Jax James, executive director of Texas NORML, a group that promotes marijuana legalization, stated that “we need a similar scheme that other states have chosen.” “We’re going to continue restricting patient access when our state keeps making small steps forward.”

Based on the National Conference of State Legislatures, medical marijuana usage is legal in 37 states and the District of Columbia.

Massive pressure to follow up is coming from voters, doctors, and the state’s growing cannabis business as Texas’ next legislative session gets underway. Advocates believe that now is the appropriate time for politicians to decriminalize marijuana in the state or at significantly less limit the similarly strong penalties for consumption.

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