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Abbott vows to sign law for Texas medical marijuana reform

Medical Marijuana Shrinking Market
Posted at 12:30 PM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-11 13:56:03-04

AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott has announced his support for a proposed law that would make it easier for certain people to access low-THC medical marijuana in Texas.

"Veterans could qualify for medical marijuana under new law," tweeted Abbott. "I will sign it."

Texas House Bill 1535 is headed to the governor's desk. The bill, when signed into law, will expand the Compassionate Use Program in Texas allowing Texans access to medical marijuana.

Currently, the Compassionate Use Progam is limited to patients with epilepsy, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism, terminal cancer, and an incurable neurodegenerative disease. The new law would allow a physician to prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients suffering from PTSD or chronic pain, which are common among veterans.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, between 11-20% of veterans who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF) have PTSD in a given year. For Gulf War (Desert Storm) veterans that number is 12%. The National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS) from the 1980s found that 30% of Vietnam Veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime.

How low is low-THC?

According to texas.gov, low-THC comes from the plant Cannabis Sativa L, which contains no more than 0.5% by weight of THC.