(Deborah Cannon, Statesman.com file)

Texas marijuana bills: full legalization in House; CBD oil in Senate

Update, May 19: The Texas House has sent a bill allowing use of cannabidiol oil (CBD) to the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott. Get the details.

Addition made May 7 at 1:43 p.m.: AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Senate has approved a limited medical marijuana bill, authorizing the sale to eligible patients of cannabidiol oil.

The upper chamber voted 26-5 to support limited legalization of what’s also known as CBD oil. It’s an extract from the marijuana plant that doesn’t produce the high associated with other parts.

The oil is used to help control seizures associated with intractable epilepsy, which advocates say affects about 150,000 Texans.

Tyler Republican Sen. Kevin Eltife’s measure now heads to the House. A companion House bill has cleared committee, making it potentially eligible for a lower chamber floor vote.

Texas hasn’t legalized marijuana in any form, even for medical reasons.

So, while a small step, passage of CBD oil exceptions would be unprecedented — should they eventually clear the Legislature.


SPECIAL REPORT: CBD in Colorado. This Denver Post series examines cannabidiol, which has drawn hundreds of desperate families to Colorado in search of a medical marijuana miracle


Previous reporting:

A proposal seeking full legalization of marijuana on religious grounds has cleared an unlikely legislative hurdle.

Republican state Rep. David Simpson of Longview argues marijuana comes from God and therefore shouldn’t be banned by government. The tea party stalwart has repeatedly championed what he calls the “Christian case” for legalization.

Simpson’s bill languished for weeks before the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. Three committee Democrats and two Republicans surprisingly voted to support it Wednesday, though, and it passed 5-2.

That makes Simpson’s bill eligible for consideration to reach the House floor before the legislative session ends June 1, although that’s still highly unlikely.

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State law currently makes no exceptions even for medical marijuana, making outright Texas marijuana legalization unthinkable.

Still, advocates hailed the committee vote as “unprecedented progress” for state marijuana rights.