On February 18, Barbara Humphries, along with her own group of supporters and activists, sought out Texas state Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) seeking her support of medicinal marijuana legislation. The state currently has two medical marijuana bills that have been proposed to lawmakers, filed HB 892 and SB 339: identical legislation titled the “Texas Compassionate Use Act” that would legalize the use of low-THC, high-cannabidiol cannabis oils and tinctures for patients.
Humphries was diagnosed with cancer in 2014 and has undergone debilitating chemotherapy treatment over the last 10 months. She says that self-medicating with marijuana has been the only thing that has enabled her to eat and play with her kids instead of being in bed, “wasting away, emaciated, pale, throwing up all the time.”
Humphries was one of about 300 people who descended on the Capitol in support of medical marijuana and decriminalization, including many representatives from marijuana advocacy organizations like NORML chapters from Austin, Houston, and the Dallas/Fort Worth area; the Houston-based Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP); and Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy.
In addition to the two cannabidiol-only medicinal marijuana bills proposed, the state has at least seven other bills related to marijuana in consideration. These include House Bill 507, which would lower the penalty for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana from a Class B misdemeanor to a civil penalty, and House Bill 557, which would make it legal for Texas universities to grow marijuana for research purposes.
Despite seemingly strong support throughout the state, however, these bills still have a long way to go, with both the Governor and Lt. Governor, the Texas Medical Association, and the Texas Sheriff’s Association among others all on record in absolute opposition of any form of medical-use legalization or decriminalization. As Vice stated this past December, Texas is indeed the next big test for “legal weed.”