TEXAS — Republican Texas agriculture commissioner and staunch conservative Sid Miller on July 15 published an opinion piece in which he calls for expanded medical cannabis access in the Lone Star State.
Miller likened regulation of medical marijuana to national prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. from 1920-1933.
“The history of cannabis prohibition reflects the failed alcohol prohibition of the 1920’s. Complete with gangs, corruption, and widespread violence against the lives and liberties of American citizens,” Miller wrote.
“As I look back, I believe that cannabis prohibition came from a place of fear, not from medical science or the analysis of social harm. Sadly, the roots of this came from a history of racism, classism, and a large central government with an authoritarian desire to control others. It is as anti-American in its origins as could be imaginable,” he continued.
In 2015, Texas passed the Compassionate-Use Act, which allowed for the prescription of low-THC cannabis to patients with intractable epilepsy. It was later expanded to include patients with autism, seizure disorder, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and a number of other conditions.
Miller said he wants to make medical marijuana available to all Texans “who are suffering.”
"I worked diligently to bring hemp farming to Texas and supported the development of products such as hemp oil for medical use. These products are making a difference in the lives of many where other medicines have failed,” Miller wrote. “It is my goal next year to expand access to the compassionate use of cannabis products in Texas so that every Texan with a medical need has access to these medicines.”
Despite the move by several states, including Colorado and Nevada, Miller is not in favor of recreational marijuana being legalized in Texas, writing, “Eighteen states, including conservative western states like Arizona, Montana, and Alaska, have legalized commercial cannabis sales to ALL adults. While I am not sure that Texas is ready to go that far, I have seen firsthand the value of cannabis as medicine to so many Texans.”
Miller said the expansion of the availability of medical cannabis is overwhelmingly supported by Texans.
“When four out of five Texans support compassionate use, we need to have state law and state policy reflect that desire. I will urge our state legislature and our Governor to make that a top priority in the upcoming legislative session,” Miller wrote.
“It is time for all of us, including the Governor, members of the Texas Legislature and others to come together and set aside our political differences to have an honest conversation about cannabis: where we have been, where we are going and what role government should properly play,” Miller continued.