Texas, just like most of the other American states, is facing several political issues that must be addressed to support the welfare of the greatest majority. One of these issues or problems revolves around the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Within the past decade, the attempts and conversations aimed at legalizing the use of marijuana have stalled. This is the case because many policymakers and politicians have involved in policy analysis (Panicker 31). Consequently, more people have been informed about the issues surrounding the use of marijuana. This development explains why the conversation regarding the use of marijuana has changed significantly. In Texas, marijuana reform is one of the political issues that have gained popularity.
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Analysis of the Issue
Different states such as Arkansas and Texas have adopted relaxed laws regarding the use of marijuana for medical use (Panicker 28). The most agreeable thing is that some states that have remained conservative regarding the use of medical marijuana have changed their laws. In Texas, the marijuana debate is something that might not end any time soon. This is the case because a new law has been proposed guiding people and medical practitioners on how to use marijuana. Different groups such as Progress Texas and other interested parties have been on the frontline to lead the marijuana policy debate or reform.
The current bill on the use of medical marijuana presents several guidelines. The first one is that medical marijuana will require the prescription of a doctor. The second issue is that medical marijuana should only be available to patients who have a condition known as epilepsy (Martin par. 7). This means that the law will lock out more patients who could have benefited from medical marijuana. For instance, some people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain might not benefit from the policy.
Various Sides of Issue
Comparing and Contrasting the Sides
Medical marijuana is a topic that has gained much attention in Texas. It should be observed that the policy has attracted both supporters and opponents. For instance, different legal experts, politicians, and policymakers have been on the frontline to explain how the use of medical marijuana can support the health needs of more people. This is true for patients suffering from intractable epilepsy (Ludwig par. 4). Some professionals such as medical practitioners, nurses, and psychologists appear to support the policy because it transforms the healthcare delivery process. Some business corporations and pharmaceutical corporations believe that the policy is necessary. These groups have presented unique views and explanations that can be used to support the use of medical marijuana.
On the other hand, some medical professionals and healthcare workers are opposed to the current bill. Some of these professionals believe strongly that it locks out many patients who could have benefited from the use of medical marijuana. Some policymakers have been on the frontline to indicate that the current bill needs some amendments to meet the needs of more Texans (Panicker 39). Another group of policymakers has gone a step further to discredit the use of medical marijuana in the state. This has also been the same argument presented by many interest groups and religious leaders. According to these stakeholders, legalizing marijuana is something erroneous that can result in numerous problems.
Evaluation of the Evidence
Different frames have been used by stakeholders in an attempt to drive the policy agenda. For instance, social media networks, televisions, and newspapers are being used to sensitize more people about the idea. To inform more community members about the idea, different lobbying strategies have been used in Texas (Ludwig par. 7). The three legs of lobbying have been focusing on policymakers and politicians, community members and stakeholders, and mass communication. These tools have made it easier for more people to understand the issues surrounding the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
Consequently, conflicts have emerged because of the diverse views presented by these stakeholders. On one side, proponents have indicated clearly that the use of medical marijuana can produce numerous benefits. They have also gone further to explain why the expansion of the bill will meet the diverse health needs of more people in the country (Martin par. 9). By so doing, the marijuana policy reform will remain a contentious issue in the future.
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It is also agreeable that some opponents have presented specific arguments to explain why medical marijuana is a topic that should be abandoned. This is the case because marijuana is an illicit compound according to the existing federal laws. These stakeholders and interest groups have used several frames such as conflict, morality, ethics, and the economy (Martin par. 11). They have indicated that marijuana is an illegal and unethical substance.
The marijuana debate in Texas has changed significantly. The undeniable fact is that medical marijuana is a contentious issue than ever before. This mainstream issue is expected to benefit from the ongoing policy analysis in the state (Panicker 42). The current trend experienced in the country shows clearly that the policy reform has increased the chances of succeeding and transforming how people use the compound in Texas.
Ludwig, Mike. “Marijuana Reforms Gain Momentum as Trump Administration Mulls a Crackdown.” Truthout, 2017, Web.
Martin, Philip. “What the Texas Legislature Did on Marijuana Reform.” Progress Texas, 2015, Web.
Panicker, Biju. “Legalization of Marijuana and the Conflict with International Drug Control Treaties.” Chicago-Kent: Journal of International and Comparative Law, vol. 16, no. 1, 2015, pp. 1-50.