Texas legislature approves marijuana and psychedelics reform legal guidelines

It’s an important time in the marijuana movement in Texas, and this week has been a win for lawyers in the Lone Star state. The House of Representatives supported a bill to reduce sentences against citizens charged with possession of concentrated marijuana. In addition, another victory took place on Monday in the House Public Health Committee, where lawmakers enacted new laws to require studies on the use of some psychedelics in conjunction with therapy, particularly for military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD ) Suffer.

The measure against cannabis concentrates effectively downgrades possession of up to two ounces, so that citizens can only be charged with a class B offense. It is currently approved by the entire Senate Chamber, having previously been approved by the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. The final vote is expected within a few days.

Medical marijuana and psychedelics reform

Upcoming legislation, due to be considered in the near future, sees some changes to the state’s medical marijuana program, including the addition of cancer, chronic pain, and PTSD (veterans only). The proposal also offers the option to add more qualification requirements and increase the THC limit for medical marijuana products from 0.5 percent to five percent.

In addition to proposing cannabis reform, MP Alex Dominguez (D) promoted psychedelic research enforcement legislation passed by the House’s Public Health Committee earlier this week. The change was approved after changes were made to the original proposal, which limited the conditions listed in the original bill and focused on military veterans diagnosed with PTSD.

“We have watched and learned how states across the country and nations around the world are studying these compounds and finding the medical uses for them. It’s time for Texas to join the fight, ”Dominguez said in an interview with KVUE. “As the mental health epidemic grows in every segment of American society, it is clear that current solutions are unsuccessful. New approaches are urgently needed for all people suffering from stress and trauma-related mental illness, but especially for veterans. We must pursue every possible treatment for these problems. “

The bill accuses the state of conducting studies looking into the medical benefits and risks of three substances: psilocybin (magic mushrooms), MDMA (ecstasy), and ketamine (Special K). The state will partner with Baylor College of Medicine and a military medical center. A clinical trial for veterans with PTSD using psilocybin and a comprehensive review of the scientific literature of all three psychedelic substances is specifically mandated.

Psychedelic Medicines as Mental Health Treatments

The history of psychedelics and mental health treatment dates back to the 1950s in the United States when a nationwide backlash against “hippie culture” undermined the substances’ scientific credibility. However, subsequent studies have clearly shown positive effects when used in conjunction with therapy for alcoholism, opiate addiction and PTSD.

The Health and Human Services Commission will be tasked with providing quarterly reports and the results of the research panel are expected by December 2024. As an odd twist, former Texas Governor Rick Perry confused many by joining Dominguez to aid in this advancement, his experiences with military families and those with chronic illness as motivators.

“I’m a great example of a fairly conservative elected official who is against drugs in any form,” Perry told KVUE. “In 2013 I had a mother who came to see me about the medicinal use of marijuana. I was against it. But she came in and showed me where her little son … could overcome those epileptic seizures by using this compound that was medically monitored and dosed appropriately, and that’s what we’re talking about here with this compound of psilocybin in a clinic test environment. With the right medical supervision, the right diagnosis, the right dosage … going through that experience and then the right follow-up … these compounds are no different from any other compound that we would have in our arsenal. If used correctly, it can save lives. “

As these efforts progress, further drug policy reforms will be on the agenda in the coming days: in particular, decriminalizing cannabis possession and expanding the state’s existing medical marijuana program. Hopefully this week’s victories will fuel other drug reform issues. Stay tuned for information on how Texan lawmakers are responding to these issues in the future.

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