Migrating for Marijuana Part Two: The possibility of medical marijuana in Texas
July 9, 2018 at 11:27 PM CDT - Updated July 9 at 11:27 PM
AMARILLO, TX - Last night we introduced you to Charlotte's Web, a cannabis oil that has many families migrating to Colorado, the only place where it is legally sold.
Although hundreds of children are seeing miraculous results after using the Charlotte's Web oil, the growers of the marijuana plant the oil is made from, a national Epilepsy Foundation, and other medical associations say more research is needed. Until research is done, the plant won't likely become legal in Texas.
As of right now District 31 State Senator Kel Seliger of Amarillo says marijuana of any kind is not likely to be welcomed by Texas any time soon.
"There's not enough information on the table to legalize medical marijuana in Texas right now I don't believe," Seliger said.
Seliger says he doesn't expect the medical marijuana debate will have any more weight in the upcoming legislative session than it has in the past.
Joel Stanley, one of the grower's of Charlotte's Web and founders of Realm of Caring, says that response doesn't surprise him.
"I don't really know what to expect but I don't really expect Texas to be one of the first movers on this," Stanley said.
Yet Stanley has no doubt Texas will come around eventually, for one simple reason: "There really is a legitimate use for this plant," he said.
Right now the marijuana plant that produces the Charlotte's Web oil is only grown at one remote facility in Colorado, but its growers say they're making headway with legislatures in several states and they're not the only ones who believe it's only a matter of time before it's legalized everywhere.
"When people start seeing graphic images of those children having those seizures and turning blue and almost dying, and then knowing that that can be prevented with a simple, non-toxic plant, un-adulterated plant, people will start to change their minds," retired doctor Roby Mitchell said.
Mitchell is a retired emergency room doctor who gave up his medical license in 2005, and started an "alternative medicine" practice. He was the only person with a medical degree NewsChannel 10 found in the Texas Panhandle who knows what CBDs in marijuana are, and was willing to speak with us about it.
"Physicians in general have very conservative attitudes and we tend to follow what is dispensed by the FDA and the CDC," Mitchell said.
But a national Epilepsy Foundation says research of marijuana on behalf of any organization is difficult because the Drug Enforcement Administration classifies the plant as a schedule one drug, meaning it has no medical use, and limits clinical trials and research of it.
"There needs to be people like myself, there needs to be doctors to come alongside and show the world what [Charlotte's Web] can do in a very clear, objective scientific way," Stanley said.
"Medical decisions ought the be made initially in the medical community, not just simply the consumers," Seliger said. "The FDA, the AMA, the Texas Medical Association can do whatever research they need to do, reach whatever conclusions, make whatever recommendations they want to make. But there's a reason that they're not."
As the Epilepsy Foundation and the Realm of Caring fight for research, the families whom this plant is helping plan to keep fighting as well.
"I don't know how long it's going to take but we really want to see Texas jump on board and legalize this so that kids like Jilli can have what they need," Becca Harmon said.
Harmon, a Canyon mother, is in the process of moving her family to Colorado, so her 8 year-old daughter Jillian can start on Charlotte's Web. To donate to their cause, click here.
Stanley says mouse-model studies and pre-clinical trials are on the horizon, but Seliger says he needs firm findings and opinions from medical associations before he'd ever sign any legislation.