As the 2019 legislative session draws ever closer, Texas Standard is talking with members about some of the bills they’ve filed, and what they hope their legislation will accomplish.
José Menéndez is a San Antonio Democrat representing Senate District 26. He filled Senate Bill 90 to expand the conditions for a which a doctor could prescribe medical cannabis.
On why the law should cover more people:
It is ridiculous for us, as legislators, to say, “It’s okay for people with epilepsy to get some cannabis-based oil. But not for someone with cancer, or someone with MS, or Parkinson’s or PTSD.” We should not be playing doctor with people’s health.
On cannabis research:
The fact of the matter is that there is international, recognized research that cannabis has medical benefits and that people can benefit from it. This is not about people getting stoned. This is about law-abiding citizens having access to medical cannabis.
On misconceptions about the abuse of legalized cannabis:
People who wanna get stoned, they’re getting stoned today – this is not about them. The people who are not getting the benefit of medical cannabis are law-abiding citizens like my father-in-law who suffered from cancer who wouldn’t use it … because he said it was against the law.
On Texas “catching up” with other states:
If we pass this bill, Texas will be the 34th state in the nation. … So, this is not about us breaking any new ground. This is about us catching up with the rest of the nation. Every state that surrounds Texas already has the access to medicinal cannabis.
On health versus politics:
This is not a conservative or liberal issue, not a Democratic or Republican issue – this is a health issue. And just like diseases, like cancer, don’t discriminate against people, neither should the medicines they take. …Both the Democratic and Republican parties of Texas have put medicinal cannabis expansion in their platform. I hope that we can convince the governor, the lieutenant governor and the speaker and the members of the legislature to support the expansion of the Compassionate Use Act.