Will Texas Legislature send expanded medical marijuana bill to the governor by Memorial Day?


David Ruth

Will Texas Legislature send expanded medical marijuana bill to the governor by Memorial Day?

HOUSTON – (May 24, 2019) – With the legislative session coming to an end Memorial Day, the Texas Legislature and governor can take a small step to improve the state’s medical marijuana law by enacting House Bill 3703 or something similar, according to drug policy experts at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

William Martin, the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy at the Baker Institute and director of its Drug Policy Program, and Katharine Neill Harris, the Alfred C. Glassell III Fellow in Drug Policy at the institute, are available for media interviews on the status of the legistlation and what the outcome may mean for Texans.

“HB 3703, by expanding the number of conditions that qualify for access to CBD (cannabidiol) under the Compassionate Use Program, and by easing some of the restrictions on obtaining a prescription, is a step toward improving the state’s very limited medical cannabis program,” Neill Harris said. “But the arbitrary dose restriction of 0.5% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) remains in place, rendering the legalized medicine ineffective for a sizable portion of patients with qualifying conditions.

“If signed by Gov. (Greg) Abbott, the proposed bill would be an improvement from the current law,” she said. “But Texas will continue to lag behind the majority of states that now provide their citizens with access to comprehensive medical cannabis programs.”

Just last month, Martin and Neill Harris outlined their insights in a new report, “Marijuana as Medicine.” The report is one of two on marijuana legislation, along with “The Case for Marijuana Decriminalization.”

For more information or to schedule an interview with Martin or Neill Harris, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at david@rice.edu.

Rice University has a VideoLink ReadyCam TV interview studio. ReadyCam is capable of transmitting broadcast-quality standard-definition and high-definition video directly to all news media organizations around the world 24/7. Rice also has a university backdrop, 1080p webcam, light kit and wireless mic for Skype interviews.


Additional information:

Martin bio: www.bakerinstitute.org/experts/william-martin
Neill Harris bio: http://bakerinstitute.org/experts/katharine-neill

Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.
Follow the Drug Policy Program via Twitter @BakerDrugPolicy.
Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Photo for download:

Photo credit: 123rf.com/Rice University

Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top three university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.


About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.