Texas Ag Commissioner Voices Support for Medical Pot Access

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller published an editorial on Friday contacting for improved entry to clinical marijuana in the state, composing that condition leaders must “lead or just get out of the way if we cannot formulate successful hashish plan for Texas.”

In the letter, which Miller posted to the Texas Office of Agriculture’s formal site, the commissioner mentioned that he advocated for the legalization of hemp in the state and is now responsible for regulating hundreds of hemp organizations. He wrote that he also supported the enhancement of products for clinical use together with hemp oil, which are bettering the life of Texans day to day when other medications have failed. Miller additional that he would improve obtain to health care cannabis in the following yr. In 2015, the point out legalized the use of minimal-THC hashish items as a remedy for epilepsy, adding further qualifying health care ailments in 2019 and 2021.

“It is my goal subsequent 12 months to increase accessibility to the compassionate use of cannabis goods in Texas so that each and every Texan with a professional medical have to have has entry to these medicines,” Miller wrote.

Hashish Enforcement Mire in Bias

In his editorial, Miller pointed out that the heritage of cannabis prohibition and enforcement in the United States has been riddled with bias and values not dependable with professed American ideals. He also famous that cannabis plan selections have usually been built centered on misinformation and emotion instead than fact and that the federal government need to only make points unlawful “for a impressive explanation or set of facts.”

“As I seem again, I imagine that cannabis prohibition arrived from a area of fear, not from professional medical science or the examination of social hurt. Regrettably, the roots of this came from a history of racism, classism, and a significant central federal government with an authoritarian drive to regulate other people. It is as anti-American in its origins as could be conceivable,” Miller wrote. “Today, in the 21st century, this will have to stop. We will have to start off with a new chapter and a new perspective about the use of cannabis – specifically when it will come to its opportunity medicinal gains.”

Miller, a Republican, famous in his concept that 39 states “including politically conservative states this sort of as Oklahoma, Utah and Florida” have passed steps to legalize the medicinal use of cannabis. A lot more than a dozen other folks “including conservative western states like Arizona, Montana and Alaska, have legalized professional hashish sales” for all adults aged 21 and more mature.

“While I am not guaranteed that Texas is completely ready to go that much, I have viewed firsthand the price of cannabis as drugs to so several Texans,” Miller wrote.

Mixed Messages from Texas Republicans

The Republican leadership in Texas has not expressed a reliable stance on hashish coverage. Although campaigning for re-election in January, Governor Greg Abbot explained that Texas prisons really should be reserved “for hazardous criminals who may damage other folks.”

“Small possession of cannabis is not the type of violation that we want to stockpile jails with,” claimed Abbot.

But Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is one particular of the state’s most vocal cannabis opponents.

“The Lt. Governor has designed it very explicitly apparent that he is not on board for lessening the state’s drug regulations all-around marijuana,” Joshua Blank, investigate director for the College of Texas Austin’s Texas Politics Task, mentioned earlier this 12 months. “But I feel like any other public determine, if stress continues to mount, specially within his very own social gathering, there’s no motive he cannot improve his head.”

Noting that four out of five Texans assist the compassionate use of cannabis, Miller called on Abbot and the state’s lawmakers to enhance entry to medicinal hashish throughout the up coming legislative session.

“It is time for all of us, which include the Governor, users of the Texas Legislature and other individuals to appear with each other and established apart our political variations to have an straightforward dialogue about cannabis: wherever we have been, wherever we are heading and what position government should really correctly engage in,” Miller concluded. “We owe it to our fellow Texans, specially those people who are suffering, to guide or just get out of the way if we simply cannot formulate successful cannabis plan for Texas.”