In June, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that legalized the use of cannabis oil for epilepsy patients, making Texas the 16th state to allow access to limited medical use of marijuana-derived oils.
Cannabis Oil Last Hope for Texas Child with Epilepsy
“A lot of Texans are ready to see access to medical marijuana for those patients that have debilitating conditions,” Heather Fazio with the Marijuana Project said. “We worked for a bill that would have allowed a little bit more access to those suffering from cancer, PTSD multiple sclerosis, debilitating conditions like that. With this program—the compassionate use program—it’s a much more restrictive program.”
Senate Bill 339 was passed by an overwhelming amount of support from both sides of the aisle. Governor Abbott, who signed the bill in June making it effective immediately, made it clear that this bill does “not open the door to marijuana in Texas.”
“We were there the day the House gave the final vote on it and that was -happy tears-happy tears-joyous tears,” Tim McMorris said, whose 5-year-old daughter Hanna suffers multiple seizures every day. “It means Hanna can live a normal life.”
Hanna was diagnosed with Dravet’s Syndrome, which is a very catastrophic form of epilepsy, when she was 11 months old. Tim and Brehanna McMorris said Tuesday that they have exhausted every form of conventional medicine to help with the seizures, but none of them have worked.
“Hearing her doctor say that we are on the last medication, that this is pretty much the last straw for her,” Tim McMorris said, “it really starts sinking on kind of hopelessness almost.”
According to the new law, patients like Hanna who have unsuccessfully tried several conventional medications, will now be able to acquire a prescription that would give them access to cannabis oil to help ward off seizures. The law requires the Texas Department of Public Safety to approve at least three dispensaries by September 2017. Therefore patients will have to wait about a year until they can start using the oil.
For more information about the new law, you can visit the Texas Department of Public Safety.