Lawmakers in the Texas House of Representatives approved a bill to reform marijuana and psychedelics policies across the state for several groups.
AUSTIN — Local lawmakers have proposed legislation that has advanced to decriminalize cannabis possession and to expand the state of Texas medical marijuana program are set to be considered on the House floor in the coming days.
In addition, one of these bills permits up to two ounces of those products, which would be downgraded to a class B misdemeanor in the state criminal code.
At this time, the current status of the legislation cleared the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee earlier this month. It was approved on a second reading before the committee of the whole or the entire House chamber. A final vote is expected this week.
“With about 30 days left in the legislative session, we are so pleased to see the Texas House advancing meaningful changes to our state’s marijuana laws,” said Heather Fazio, the director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, via a statement provided to trade publication Marijuana Moment.
“Now the focus shifts to the Senate, which has historically been a steep uphill battle.”
The legislation would also permit psychedelics research legislation passed through the House Public Health Committee on Monday of this week. A panel amendment that was attached to the bill would also limit the scope of state-funded studies on the use of the substance on military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) rather than a broader list of other conditions attached to the bill’s initial form.
The same legislation would also require the state to study the medical risks and benefits of psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine for veterans in partnership with the Baylor University College of Medicine and a veterans medical center. Clinical trial rules are also amended.
While these are policy questions that are building toward official legalization, these policies could soon permit the use of such substances in vaporizers and other devices.