By Franca Quarneti via El Planteo
Texas, one of the most conservative states in the U.S. seems to be moving one step forward and two steps back when it comes to civil liberties; in this case, marijuana and abortion.
On the one hand, the state is loosening its policies regarding cannabis, starting with changes to state law allowing more eligible patients to request a prescription for medical cannabis. In addition, a Texas court declared unconstitutional a law prohibiting the smoking of hemp.
Despite these more progressive policies, a law banning abortion after six weeks went into effect statewide on Wednesday. It’s one of the strictest abortion laws in the United States, especially in view of the fact that most women are unaware that they are pregnant in the first six weeks.
The new law allows citizens to report abortion providers and gives them a reward of at least $10,000 if the lawsuit is successful.
President Joe Biden called the law “extreme” and said it “blatantly violates” the constitutional right to abortion.
Meanwhile, More Patients Have Access to Medical Marijuana In Texas
Thanks to changes in state law, patients with any type of cancer can now request a prescription for low-THC marijuana. Until recently, the treatment was reserved for people with terminal cancer.
In addition, patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are also eligible now.
“We still have a long way to go in Texas, but I think we can still help Texans a lot more by expanding their ability to get the medication,” said Dr. Francisco Daniel Medrano, of CannaMedRx, a medical cannabis clinic in Houston.
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“We’re very happy to be able to help Texans, particularly our veterans with PTSD,” Medrano added in remarks picked up by Click 2 Houston.
Texas Hemp Smoking Ban
Judge Livingston of the 261st District Court of Texas issued a ruling finding that the law prohibiting “the processing or manufacture of a consumable hemp product for smoking” violates the state constitution.
Likewise, the implementing regulation prohibiting the distribution and retail sale of smokable hemp was also deemed invalid by the judge.
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However, Livingston’s ruling did not include justification for the ruling, so the State of Texas could appeal her decision.
As reported by JD Supra, this ruling could inspire challenges to smokable hemp bans in other states, such as Louisiana.