According to a new poll, four in five Texans favor cannabis legalization for medical or recreational use. This has been a consistent view from the general public in recent years, yet there still hasn’t been a cannabis policy change that reflects it.
Texans On Cannabis Legalization
The Texas Politics Project revealed that many Texan residents not only want cannabis to be legalized in some form but about 78% support decriminalization. The poll communicated the general public’s attitude toward reform and legalization. The extent and reasons behind their votes for legalization varied among the voters, but they were either for broad legalization or medical use.
Both democrats and republicans voted in favor of cannabis legalization, though the latter had a lower vote. About 41% of republicans were still in favor of the general use of the plant, while 36% only backed it for medical use. The poll’s results come at a significant time as lawmakers prepare for the upcoming legislature session. They have already filed reform bills that align with what Texan voters want, such as legislation to legalize the adult use of cannabis.
However, this won’t be the first time a cannabis-related legislature has been filed. In 2019, the House approved a cannabis decriminalization bill but did not advance in the Senate sessions. It will also not be the first time that a majority of Texans have been found to support the reform strongly. A poll that was done last year and another one done in June had similar results. A survey also revealed that 60% of voters supported the legalization of cannabis for any use. It is evident that Texans are ready for a cannabis policy change; the power to enact such a change rests on legislation advancement.
The Progression Of The Reform
Some politicians have expressed their support for the reform, such as House Speaker Dade Phelan, who has gained support for lowering the penalties for possession and spoke about his plan to enact a criminal justice reform in the coming year. While campaigns and efforts to enact a policy change face hurdles, a few cities in Texas have been taking action under home rule laws. Residents in cities such as Hacker Heights, Denton, San Marcos, and Elgin each passed cannabis measures on their ballots.
Some cities had to repeal or pause the decriminalization initiative due to legal concerns involving lawmakers. Other cities, like Denton, challenged the provisions instead of altogether implementing the reform. The push for these cities to decriminalize possession by Ground Game Texas comes after Austin voters strongly approved the initiative in May.
Despite the majority of Texan voters expressing support for legalization and decriminalization, the state continues to brush off the public’s opinion. The actions pursued to move forward with a policy change are either rescinded or implemented at a slow pace.
Enjoyed that first hit? Come chill with us every week at the Friday Sesh for a freshly packed bowl of the week’s best cannabis news!