Poll: More Texas Republicans favoring medical marijuana over opioids

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — A new survey shows what could be a shift among Texas Republicans when it comes to the growing medical marijuana industry and the doctors involved in prescribing the plant.

It turns out around 64% of Republican primary voters in the Lone Star State favor the legalization of doctor-prescribed medical marijuana for people facing serious medical conditions. The survey also shows that 72% of the same voters would support physicians prescribing medical marijuana as an alternative to to opioids for people suffering from chronic pain.

The Texas Compassionate Use Program (CUP) does allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to people with numerous illnesses and conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders, cancer, PTSD, spasticity, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and autism.

But chronic pain does not fall on the list of eligible conditions that could lead to a medical marijuana prescription from a doctor. Instead, opioid-based pharmaceutical medications are often prescribed.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 75% of the nearly 92,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2020 involved an opioid.

The Texas Medical Association reports an 18% increase in drug overdose deaths from 2020 to 2021.