Almost as soon as state Senator Kevin Eltife and Representative Stephanie Klick, both Republicans, introduced their plan to make a very limited subset of cannibis-infused oils available to an even smaller subset of those patients who would benefit from medical marijuana therapy, the push-back started.
Shaun McAlister, the executive director of the DFW Chapter of NORML, said the law proposed by Eltife and Klick was misguided and failed to account for the complexity that makes marijuana an effective treatment for so many conditions. Dean Bortell -- the father of Alexis Bortell, a 9-year-old with intractable epilepsy -- said the bill didn't go far enough despite its being targeted at his daughter's condition specifically.
The Bortells are now in Colorado after leaving Texas in search of effective cannabis treatment for Alexis, but they continue to fight for appropriate medical marijuana reform in their home state. Friday, Dean Bortell announced his support for a new medical marijuana bills from state Representative Marisa Márquez and state Senator José Menéndez.
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Marquez's and Menendez's bills would provide patients with a wide range on conditions limited access to medical marijuana.
"The law currently does not reflect marijuana's legitimate medical use and denies access to patients, such as veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, citizens suffering with cancer and severe aliments of the aging," Marquez said in a press release. "By continuing to deny access to patients, we limit the rights of families to seek the best possible treatment for conditions that do not respond to other drugs or therapies. We should create paths, and not obstacles, in allowing doctors to recommend medicine that has been shown to work."
Bortell said that his daughter has benefited immensely since beginning treatment in Colorado.
"Since starting treatment with full spectrum cannabis oils, our daughter has not had a single seizure or spasm," Bortell said. "With prescription drugs, we never had a symptom-free stretch spanning more than two days. With cannabis oils, we've set a record of 11 days with no end in sight. The most important thing we have learned since arriving in Colorado and starting treatment is how vital it is to have access to the whole cannabis plant. Dosing decisions should be left to doctors and families, not lawmakers."