Texas Senator José Menéndez filed Senate Bill 79 to extend medical marijuana usage to those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, cancer, traumatic brain injuries, and other ‘debilitating conditions’.

Texas currently only allows legal medical marijuana use for those suffering from intractable epilepsy.

Twenty-nine states allow the use of medical marijuana. Eight states allow recreational use.

Supporters hope SB 79 will help those suffering from debilitating conditions access a natural route to recovery. They also say it will help alleviate the prescription opioid epidemic engulfing the nation.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 183,000 people have died between 1999 and 2015 from overdoses related to prescription opioids.

SB 79 reiterates the fact that medical marijuana provides a safer alternative to dealing with pain and may prevent eventual overdose deaths.

The last bill advocating for widespread medical marijuana usage in Texas, House Bill 2107, died in the Texas Legislature in May.