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State's 300,000 Qualified Medical Marijuana Patients Can't Get Access to Cannabis

In 2015, the Texas State Legislature passed the Compassionate Use Act, a medical marijuana bill that allowed patients with epilepsy to use cannabis with very small THC levels. This was already one of the strictest medicinal cannabis laws in the country, but it turns out it's even more restricted than imagined.

Nearly 350,000 Texans with epilepsy are being denied access to the state's medical marijuana program at the moment. According to state law, patients are only allowed into the program if federally approved drugs cannot treat the person's seizures. But what the law fails to mention is that many of the drugs that can control those seizures have major side effects.

The Texas Observer notes a case where a mother tried to get her son into the state's medical marijuana program, but was denied because there are drugs that have helped with his seizures. But the mother says those drugs either put him into an almost catatonic state because they're anti-depressants, or they lead to self-destructive behaviors. So while there are available drugs for her son's seizures, they're also dangerous to his health as well.

The Texas State Legislature attempted to expand the Compassionate Use Act this year. A committee passed a bill that would expand the law and make any debilitating medical conditions qualify for medical marijuana. But the full Texas State House never considered the bill.

Many Texans are actually fleeing the state and heading to places where medical marijuana is more readily available for people with epilepsy. In fact, an 11-year-old girl from Texas, whose family moved to Colorado so she could receive treatment for her epilepsy using cannabis, sued Jeff Sessions for continuing to keep marijuana illegal.

So how exactly does denying a drug that can help treat a person's serious medical conditions make our country better?

(h/t Texas Observer)


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