“If it’ll help a toothache, I’m for it.” An unexpected endorsement of medical marijuana in Texas
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller just came out in favor of medical marijuana in a colossal way. In an op-ed published on the state’s Department of Agriculture website, Miller stated that he would like to see medical marijuana use be expanded to anybody who would benefit. Texas’s current medical marijuana system is limited in scope. Only a few qualifying conditions permit patients to be prescribed cannabis as a treatment, and Miller hopes to see this change in the near future.
“If it’ll help a toothache, I’m for it -- anything that will relieve pain or suffering for somebody,” Miller told Inside Texas Politics last week. He explained that there is enough evidence to suggest that marijuana helps those suffering from PTSD, epilepsy, and cancer and that it is time to expand the programs to any Texan who could medically benefit from the plant.
Miller wants one thing to be clear, however: He is not advocating for the legalization of recreational marijuana in the Lonestar State. Miller, himself, admits that he has never personally used marijuana, but believes that the state should stop “picking winners and losers” and expand the program to all suffering Texans.
As for Republicans in the state who are hesitant to expand the program, Miller explained this issue is about freedom, therefore making it a conservative issue. His call for an expanded program, in his words, is about less regulation, less government, and more freedom between patients and their doctors to get the care they need.
Legislators have had difficulty advancing marijuana legislation through the state legislature largely due to the state’s conservative-leaning. Democrats have mostly led the charge in progressing marijuana legalization, while Republicans seem to ignore their dependence on the government to keep the prohibition on cannabis alive and well. While Miller may not have the authority to expand the state’s medical program, it’s good to see that conservatives around the country are recognizing legalization as a fight against big government.