AUSTIN, Texas — Sid Miller wants to expand the use of medical marijuana in Texas. And even though he’s the state’s Agriculture Commissioner, he admits it’s not as much about helping farmers as it is about helping sick Texans.
“If it’ll help a toothache, I’m for it -- anything that will relieve pain or suffering for somebody,” Miller said on Inside Texas Politics. “And we’ve seen this, how it helps PTSD, cancer patients, etc. But we just need to open it up to everybody and quit picking winners and losers.”
Miller made this known in an op-ed he published on the Department of Agriculture website recently. In it, he says “the history of cannabis prohibition reflects the failed alcohol prohibition of the 1920's, complete with gangs, corruption, and widespread violence against the lives and liberties of American citizens.”
Currently, only “eligible” Texans can access medical marijuana, those with certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy or cancer. Miller says he wants any Texan with a medical need to be able to access what he considers to be medicine.
Miller says he’s never used marijuana personally and he’s not advocating recreational use of cannabis.
And for those who are shocked that a Republican could be pushing medical marijuana expansion, he has a simple message.
“This is about freedom. It’s about less regulation. It’s about less government. It’s about freedom between you and your doctor and getting government out of your life. So, I think it’s a conservative issue,” he told us.
As Agriculture Commissioner, Sid Miller is also closely tracking the devastation caused by the extreme heat and drought in Texas.
He told us he recorded 118 degrees at his house just a few days ago. And he joined us from his vehicle, as he was on his way to New Mexico to get hay for his horses because he, like many others, had none.
Miller says farmers and ranchers are being forced to sell livestock.
“The livestock auction barns are at capacity. They can’t take any more animals. There is no hay. We got one cutting of hay and it was about 50%. Our milk cows, the production is falling off. Our pecan crop, you know, the trees are in stress so they’re not dropping their fruit. There’s not going to be much of a pecan crop,” Miller said of the problems cropping up all across Texas.
And on a final note, to perhaps hammer home the point, Miller says the Texas cotton crop is non-existent, as it never came up, or came up and just withered and died.