AUSTIN, Texas – The chance to widen access to medical marijuana in Texas may soon be up in smoke.
Thursday is the cut-off for most bills in the state House to get tentative approval. Lawmakers had numerous marijuana-related measures to consider during this legislative session.
There were 20 marijuana-related bills filed in this year's legislative session. Eyewitness news focused on two that are gaining some traction.
The first one is House Bill 81. The legislation would reduce marijuana penalties. Anyone caught with an ounce or less of pot -- would get a ticket instead of facing jail time.
The second one is House Bill 2107. It would allow doctors to recommend marijuana as treatment for patients with severe health conditions like cancer, PTSD and epilepsy.
Michelle Walker said her 9-year-old son suffers from epilepsy and is also autistic. She said he was taking the maximum dosage of Keppr, an anti-epileptic drug used to treat seizures.
"Average adults take about 250 milligrams. He was taking 3 thousand milligrams," Walker said. "If he's un-medicated, he seizes every 10 seconds."
Walker said she decided to leave San Antonio to get her son access to medical marijuana. She moved to Colorado.
"Two little bottles. That's all it is. Two little bottles of oil we give this to him, three times a day," Walker said
Last week, Walker joined other families, doctors, and attorneys to testify at the Capitol.
"I think we heard. I was lucky enough to be one of the first to testify. There were some engaged and I actually heard that there were some legislators that cried when I told my son's story, Walker said.
Luis Nakamoto, executive director of San Antonio Norml -- a marijuana advocacy group -- was there too.
"We have the support of a little half of the representatives for HB 2107 so that's historic," Nakamoto said.
But HB 2107 and any other bill needs to be scheduled for a House vote to continue moving forward. Thursday is the last day for the House to do its second reading of the bills.
"If we get that opportunity, we'll know we have majority support. Bi-partisan support on this issue," Nakamoto said.
"We have access to medicine but our friends do not. This is a matter of life-and-death for many people. We had a friend whose daughter seized 38 times the day after the hearing and it’s for people like that. They need this. They can't wait any longer. Our children deserve this," Walker said.
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