Texas senator aims to expand state's medical marijuana law

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HOUSTON – Texas Sen. Jose Menendez filed a bill Tuesday aimed at expanding the state’s medical marijuana law.

Senate Bill 269 would increase the number of medical conditions that qualify for the Texas Compassionate Use Program and allow access to stronger forms of marijuana, according to Menendez.

The current law covers only patients suffering from intractable epilepsy, and grants those patients access to types of cannabis that have been found to be ineffective for some patients.

"Doctors, not politicians, should be determining what is best for Texas patients," Menendez said. "This is legitimate medicine that can help a variety of sick people, from the grandmother suffering from cancer to the veteran coping with PTSD after returning home from war."

Menendez said his bill requires patients to access medical marijuana under the strict consultation and recommendation from a doctor.

"Compassion should not be exclusive,” Menendez said. "It is time Texas steps up to the plate on behalf of our sickest patients.”

If the bill is approved, Texas would join 28 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing the use of medical marijuana.