Texas became the 15th state to legalize the use of cannabidiol to treat epilepsy among children. Both the Senate and House approved a limited-use medical marijuana bill, and Gov. Abbott signed it into law on June 1, 2015
This bill differs from others in that it requires doctors to prescribe the CBD-rich oil, which is consumed orally, rather than recommend it. "Unlike prescriptions, recommendations and certifications are federally legal and protected under the First Amendment," the MPP responded in a press release. The organization and other groups and activists had hoped Texas would pass a broader bill covering multiple conditions.
Still, parents like Leslie Moccia, whose son suffers from Dravet Syndrome, says the Texas Compassionate Use Act offers them hope. “This gives us another treatment option," she explains. "(It's) a huge step for Texas and a huge step for the nation. They say as Texas goes, so goes the nation.”
Following the 26-5 Senate vote in favor, the House ratified the measure by a 96-34 margin on May 18. Production and sale of CBD oil would begin in 2017, implemented by the Department of Public Safety.
Upon the signing of the bill, the MPP's Heather Fazio stated: "While this program leaves most patients behind and we’re concerned about its functionality, today is one for the history books. The Texas Legislature is sending a resounding message: Marijuana is medicine. We commend our Texas lawmakers and look forward to continuing this conversation when the 85th Legislature convenes in 2017.”