Austin may allow first responders to obtain medical marijuana prescriptions for their PTSD

If the rule changes, those who carry firearms or drive motor vehicles still wouldn't be able to use legal pot.

click to enlarge Marijuana plants grow inside a cultivation facility in Canada. - UnSplash / Richard T | The CBD
UnSplash / Richard T | The CBD
Marijuana plants grow inside a cultivation facility in Canada.
With the addition of post-traumatic stress disorder to the conditions for which people can legally obtain cannabis in Texas, Austin is mulling a change to its zero-tolerance drug policy for city employees, TV station KXAN reports.

This week, Austin's Public Safety Committee began exploring the option of letting first responders use prescription cannabis to deal with PTSD, according to the station.

“Most people in public safety do have PTSD, undiagnosed or diagnosed,” Austin EMS Association President Selena Xie told KXAN.

Last September, Texas lawmakers added PTSD to a list of qualifying conditions in the state's strict medical cannabis program. That proposal also increased the amount of THC allowed in cannabis products to 1%.

The City of San Antonio were unavailable for immediate comment on Tuesday about whether officials here plan to undertake a similar review.

Xie noted that Austin's rules for alcohol use provide a framework for what might be allowable

“You’re not allowed to drink alcohol eight hours before a shift, so it’d be very easy to implement similar types of rules when it comes to THC,” she told KXAN.

First responders, such as police officers, who carry guns as part of their work would still be barred from using THC prescriptions due to federal firearm rules, according to the report. Also, those who drive motor vehicles on the job would also be excluded. 

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.


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