From Trail Blazers:
A key lawmaker suggested Tuesday that a bill legalizing marijuana for medical use is probably “dead,” but the sponsor said she’s not discouraged by the “premature” pushback.
The bill has not yet been referred to a committee, where it could be debated and voted on, but similar proposals have been referred to the House Public Health committee now headed by Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has said he opposes medical marijuana legalization, and Crownover told The News Tuesday “I think it’s dead in the House, also.”
The bill’s author Rep. Marisa Márquez, D-El Paso, called Crownover’s assessment “premature.”
“I believe that there are a lot of members out there that believe that this is worthy to look at and to discuss,” Márquez said. “I’m not discouraged by any means.”
There’s a chance the bill could also end up in the House State Affairs committee chaired by Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana. Cook said he thought the proposal was “ahead of its time,” but worth a discussion.
“What I traditionally like to do is hear all the different folks come in and testify on a bill because sometimes that reinforces where you are, and sometimes it causes you to change your mind because you are forced to think about things a little more broadly than you would have otherwise,” Cook said.
“We should always have conversation about things,” Cook said. “That’s what we’re here for.”
The bill in question is HB 3785; it and a companion bill in the Senate by Sen. Jose Rodriguez were filed at the deadline. Here’s an Observer story with more details about Rep. Marquez’s bill. It’s not the only medical marijuana bill, and it’s far from the only bill that would in some way loosen or reform marijuana laws, but it does appear to be outside the limits of what will get serious attention. This is going to have to be an actual election issue – a winning election issue, since Wendy Davis supported medical marijuana – before any real progress gets made.