Texas HB 1365 Cannabis Bill Moves to Sub-Committee Hearing

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13-Year Old Texan, Living in Colorado To Recieve CBD Medication For Seizures, Pens Letter to Texas Lawmakers Ahead of Vote

Today, April 11th, 2019, Texas legislatures pushed House Bill 1365 one step closer to becoming a reality. Texas lawmakers in the House voted to move the bill to a subcommittee hearing.

The bill is focused on authorizing the possession, use, cultivation, processing, distribution, transportation, and delivery of medical cannabis for medical use by patients with certain debilitating medical conditions and the licensing of dispensing organizations and testing facilities. The bill will expand the currentTexas Compassionate Use Act Program to cover more patients and increase access to cannabis-derived drugs.

Currently, Texas has some of the most conservative cannabis laws in the country, but lawmakers are looking to change it. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, and advocates like 13-year old Alexis Bortell, her family, and friends, who have been negatively impacted by the current Texas cannabis laws, simply because she was prone seizures not treatable by any other medication. Countless patients leave Texas every year, to go to other states where cannabis-derived medications are available.

Texas Refugees Living In Colorado Seeking Texas Cannabis Reform

Texas’ conservative laws towards cannabis & CBD oil, has forced her and her family to move to Colorado to receive access to the treatment that they need for Alexis’ epilepsy. Since moving to Colorado to receive medication derived from cannabis plants, Alexis has been seizure free for 4 years. In seeing the drastic improvement in the quality of life of Alexis, the Bortell’s were forced to stay in Colorado. The state of Texas just removed hemp & CBD from it’s banned substances list.

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Even having to leave family & friends in Texas, the Bortell’s have made the best of living in the state of Colorado, and are very grateful for the laws allowing access to life-saving cannabis drugs by everyone, however, they wish they could be back in Texas with extended family. The family has been advocating for cannabis law reform in Texas while living in Colorado. Also while in Colorado, the family has set up an organic farm for the homeless and worked to help other patients who have moved from other states for access to cannabis-derived drugs, like themselves.

The Bortell’s are looking for full decriminalization of cannabis, including marijuana. because in their experience & research of other states laws in regard to medicinal cannabis, these bills often times leave out certain groups of patients like Alexis. The Texas Legislature HB 1365 is one of these bills and does not include language to cover Alexis’ condition.

Disappointment But Grateful For Texas Cannabis Reform Progress

The Bortell’s do remain positive, even though they are disappointed in the language and coverage of patients included in the Texas House Bill 1365. Even without the language needed for Alexis, the Bortell’s think this is a step in the right direction. Ahead of the most recent action on HB 1365, to move HB 1365 to sub-committee hearing, Alexis and her family hand delivered this letter to Senator Lucio, the primary author & sponsor of the bill.

The letter was shared with the public via Facebook & can be seen in its full text here.

Bi-Partisan Support For Cannabis Reform in Texas

Thanks to the help of the Alexis Bortell, her family, and Texas cannabis reform advocates across the state and country, the State of Texas has a more promising outlook in changing their conservative attitudes towards cannabis. In their advocacy work, they have been able to educate farmers, retailers, pharmaceutical companies, and a host of others to join forces in pushing for lawmakers to introduce new bills, that would allow the cannabis industry to move into Texas’ already booming state economy.

With some unlikely news and help from major retailers & the agricultural industry, Texas conservatives have been forced to face some of their core constituents head-on about cannabis reform. While evangelicals and some law enforcement have groups pushing back, some inside their sectors are pushing back as well including prison reform groups and non-denominational Christians, and other groups of faith. The pressure has already lead to a large group of Republicans to sign on to this bill and could be the key factor in future Texas cannabis law reform.

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The irony of it all is that it seems as if cannabis is bringing lawmakers together on the state level now, as well as a national level. To think a cannabis plant is bringing two of the most divisive groups in the country together on at least this issue and is just more proof that full decriminalization of the plant needs to happen.

We will keep you informed on developing stories on Texas House Bill 1365, and be sure to support Alexis & Texas cannabis advocates by showing your support. Thanks for reading Disciple 420 and check out our other blog posts on what’s happening around the country in the cannabis industry.


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