Texas is one of the few states that has yet to legalize medical marijuana fully. Despite more than four in five Texans supporting access to medicinal cannabis, the state legislature and governor have been reluctant to take action on this issue. However, the Texas Agricultural Commissioner, Sid Miller, via Big Country, has recently come out to support increased access to medical cannabis in the Lone Star State.
Miller has publicly called for the state to expand access and help those who could benefit from medical cannabis but are unable to access it legally. He believes that if the issue were put on the floor for a vote, it would easily pass due to the overwhelming public support.
The commissioner is no stranger to pushing medical cannabis reform in Texas. Last year, in an opinion piece he wrote, Miller discussed his views on cannabis prohibition and its roots in fear rather than science. He also shared his experience with helping to bring hemp farming to Texas and how he supported the development of products such as hemp oil for medical use.
Current Texas Cannabis Laws
Currently, Texas has Texas’s Compassionate Use Program (CUP), which allows certain physicians to prescribe low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis for medical conditions such as epilepsy, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism, terminal cancers, and incurable neurodegenerative disease.
In 2019, the state legislature passed House Bill 1325 to legalize hemp production and products. This bill was a significant step forward for Texas regarding cannabis/hemp reform but did not go far enough to include medical marijuana.
This means that although hemp products are legal, they cannot be used like medical cannabis products.
The law also did not change any of the other existing laws surrounding cannabis. Possessing more than two ounces is still considered a felony, and those caught with more significant amounts face jail time and hefty fines.
It is clear that more needs to be done in order for Texas to move toward expanded access to medical marijuana. Commissioner Miller hopes his recent actions will help move the state closer to this goal.
Sid Miller’s Push for Access To Medical Cannabis For Texans
Commissioner Miller has long been a proponent of increased access to medical cannabis in Texas. Last year, he penned an opinion piece mentioned before in which he discussed the roots of cannabis prohibition and its ties to racism, classism, and authoritarian views.
“As I look back, I believe that cannabis prohibition came from a place of fear, not from medical science or the analysis of social harm. Sadly, the roots of this came from a history of racism, classism, and a large central government with an authoritarian desire to control others. It is as anti-American in its origins as could be imaginable.
Today, in the 21st century, this must end. We must start with a new chapter and a new attitude about the use of cannabis – especially when it comes to its potential medicinal benefits.”
In his editorial, Miller also shared his experience bringing hemp farming to Texas and helping develop products such as hemp oil for medical use. He spoke of these products’ positive impact on those with illnesses that have not responded to traditional medicines.
“I worked diligently to bring hemp farming to Texas and supported the development of products such as hemp oil for medical use. These products are making a difference in the lives of many where other medicines have failed.”
Now, Miller is pushing for greater access to medical cannabis in Texas. In a recent article with Big Country, he expressed his belief that if the issue were put on the floor for a vote, it would easily pass due to overwhelming public support.
“If you can get it to the floor, probably 70% or 80% of the legislative body will vote in favor of it because we have such good science on it. Now, it’s not speculation anymore. When we started with speculation, we thought, ‘Well, that’ll lead to recreational use or more drug use,’ but it’s not. It’s a plant derivative. Look. Medical marijuana is not nearly as addictive as some of the prescription drugs we use now. Hydrocodone, Oxycontin, Fentanyl, you know, all these narcotics that we prescribe. This is a plant-based drug that relieves pain and suffering, and we need… if it’ll help somebody and getting them help,”
Although the Texas AG Commissioner is a proponent of medical cannabis use for Texans, he’s unsure about recreational cannabis in the state. Yet, he said, “What it is, and let me explain, my opponent was for full-fledged recreational use of marijuana. I’m not for that. But I am for medical use for compassionate use for anything.”
The recent push by Commissioner Miller for expanded access to medical cannabis in Texas is a welcome sign of progress. Despite the state legislature and governor’s reluctance, an overwhelming majority of Texans support increased access to medicinal marijuana.
We hope that the current momentum can help lead to the full legalization of cannabis in Texas. Everyone should be entitled to access natural plant medicine if they choose, which should be seen as a step in the right direction.
We can only hope that Commissioner Miller’s push for increased access to medical cannabis will help bring about the reform that Texas desperately needs. It is time for the government to listen to what their constituents want and take action on this issue. Only then can we move towards a brighter future for cannabis in Texas.