By Stephen Young
CBD is among the treatments prescribed for Alexis Bortell, a Rowlett 9-year-old who’s become a poster child for medical marijuana reform in Texas. Two Colorado doctors who evaluated Bortell told her family that marijuana was the best remedy for her epileptic seizures. She was given a Colorado “red card” which allows for her to take marijuana-based medications. In Colorado, not in Texas.Kevin Eltife and Stephanie Klick are taking the safest approach possible to an issue that, for them, is politically dangerous. The two legislators, both Republicans, have put themselves behind legalizing the narrowest sliver of medical cannabis. The Tyler state senator and Fort Worth state representative want to OK the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil for people with intractable epilepsy.
Legalizing CBD with low THC concentrations — Eltife and Klick are careful to emphasize that patients would not be able to get high from their medications — for kids and adults suffering from crippling, life-threatening seizures is seemingly a no-brainer. It may not be what’s best for drug-reform in Texas, however, according to Shaun McAlister, the executive director of the DFW Chapter of NORML — the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
“I’m glad the we’re talking about medical marijuana with some actual sincerity now in Texas, because this entire state is just tragically behind the rest of the country,” he says. “On the other hand, I’m really nervous about a CBD-only push because, for one thing, CBD only legislation represents a really shallow understanding of what cannabis actually is and what it can do.”
By Stephen Young