Texas Medical Cannabis Bill 2017

December 7, 2016

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to join Texas State Senator, Jose Menendez, at the Texas Capitol for the announcement of his bill which would allow patients in Texas to obtain medical cannabis.

This is very exciting to see a more robust dialogue in this country about breaking our paradigms about what constitutes safe and effective treatment for conditions such as chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). All too often the “conservative” treatment involves dangerous and addictive medications such as opioids (oxycodone etc.) and benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax, etc.). These medications are highly addictive and are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans every year. Thankfully ketamine is a schedule III medication and can already be used as an effective treatment for various chronic pain syndromes and for severe depression and PTSD.

There is some good evidence out there that cannabis (marijuana) can be effective for chronic pain, PTSD, various intestinal conditions such as Crohn’s Disease, and several forms of epilepsy. My hope is that Senator Menendez’ bill will pass and we can open this up as a therapeutic option for select individuals. I think it is important to not “personify” an organic compound and assign it a label of “good” or “bad.” Chemicals are chemicals, and the context in which we use them is what is important. Just because certain people choose to use and/or abuse any substance, be it alcohol, Xanax, narcotics, ketamine, marijuana or anything else does not mean that those medications do not have value in the clinical practice of medicine. Well actually alcohol may be the one exception but that is already legal.

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