The Agricultural Act of 2018 made hemp legal across the US. By default, this made hemp-derived products such as cannabidiol (CBD) legal in Texas as well as other states. However, one hemp-derived product aka delta-8 has caused a lot of controversy. This is not only because it is synthetically derived from hemp but also because it is intoxicating, unlike CBD. And while one legislator is pushing for a ban on delta-8 in Texas, veterans are relentlessly pushing back against him.
State Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, has been pushing for the ban of delta-8 in Texas. In 2021, he introduced a bill that would have completely removed delta-8 products from the market. The bill managed to pass the senate with amendments, but it failed to get approved by the House. This year, Perry plans to try again with Senate Bill 264.
Texans veterans vow that this will only end in a disaster. Texas has close to 1.5 million veterans, a majority of whom use prescription drugs to manage PTSD, depression, chronic pain, traumatic brain injuries, and other chronic conditions. Texas-based veteran Dave Walden turned to cannabis when close to thirty prescription drugs, including prescription opioids, couldn’t help manage his condition. These pharmaceuticals had several side effects and made him a zombie.
Another veteran, David Bass, explains that he started using cannabis illegally when he could no longer endure the side effects of prescription pills that had been prescribed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Bass now advocates for other veterans to gain access to medical marijuana through the nonprofit organization NORML- Texas chapter. According to Bass, “Perry’s effort to end the delta-8 market will have terrible unintended consequences.”