The Texas House overwhelmingly approved Senate Bill 339 Monday that would allow doctors to prescribe cannabidiol oils, a marijuana derivative, for children suffering from Dravet syndrome and other types of uncontrollable seizures that do not respond to anti-seizure medication.
The bill will soon reach the desk of Gov. Greg Abbott who has not said how he will respond to the bill.
The measure is a historic one that backers of medicinal marijuana use have been pushing for years.
State Representative J.D. Sheffield was a sponsor of the bill and calls it a "last resort" for patients suffering from debilitating seizures.
In a statement to the E-T, Sheffield said, "This type of cannabinoid oil metabolite of the cannabis plant has no hallucinogenic (or 'high') effect and therefore has no street value and is not a drug of potential addiction."
The statement went on to say that the program will be overseen by the Texas Department of Public Safety and will not involve "sales across counters" as seen in other states.
"This drug is in an oil formation administered only by mouth and cannot be smoked or taken intravenously," Sheffield said.
The Sheriff's Association of Texas has raised some concern about the oil becoming available to the wrong people or being misused, but Sheriff Tommy Bryant said he does not share those concerns.
"I have no concerns about this whatsoever," he said. "If this can help one child, then I fully support it."
Texas is one of seven states with pending legislation legalizing medical marijuana. Other states include Alabama, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.