A new Texas bill could soon expand the state’s medical cannabis program to allow veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to use cannabis as treatment, according to Valley Central.
“It’s a plant. It’s more natural,” said Jesus Piñeda, Sgt. First Class and Commander at Post 10712 Manuel Treviño in Pharr.
House Bill 1535, or the Compassionate Use Program, would let veterans use medical cannabis as treatment. Piñeda says this would be a great step for veterans, though he would still enforce specific regulations.
“We don’t want them to use it and abuse it and only use it for medical purposes; don’t get used to doing it every day,” he said.
If the bill is passed, it would allow hundreds of Texans to qualify for the state’s medical cannabis program, which currently only has around 6,000 Texans enrolled. The bill still needs sign-off from Governor Greg Abbott.
Piñeda said he has veteran friends who have benefited from medical cannabis, specifically for PTSD.
“The ones that saw a lot of bad stuff overseas. Because when you’re overseas, you see things that you might never see as a regular individual.”
He added that many veterans are using some form of medication, so the bill would ensure veterans don’t have to take as many other medications on a regular basis.
“I’ve had a couple of friends tell me that when they were under medication it really wasn’t helping, and someone told them to try and smoke marijuana; they said it kind of felt better, and they really don’t need the other medicine.”
According to the bill, a physician may prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients suffering PTSD and chronic pain. The bill’s progress is storied, and many were unsure it would make it as far as it has. While the bill still needs a final approval, Governor Abbott has stated in a tweet that he plans to sign it.