Texas is one of several that are pushing for significant changes up to and including the legalization of recreational marijuana. The nationwide trend continues with states all across the country are changing the way they deal with marijuana crimes, and Texas is no exception to recognizing the senselessness of criminalizing weed.
A recent poll from the Marijuana Policy Project indicates well over half of Texas voters support legalizing and regulating pot like we currently do alcohol.
According to the MPP, more than 60 percent of Texas voters think criminal penalties for marijuana possession should be removed and replaced with a civil infraction similar to a traffic ticket. But 58 percent would support full-on legalization.
The results of the most recent poll show that only 38 percent of voting Texans are opposed to marijuana law changes.
“Marijuana prohibition has been just as big a failure as alcohol prohibition,” said the executive director of MPP Rob Kampia. “Most Texans agree that marijuana sales should be conducted by legitimate businesses instead of drug cartels in the underground market.”
Currently, marijuana possession is a misdemeanor offense. Someone could go to jail for possessing only a small amount of pot, and they would carry that conviction with them forever.
Changing marijuana policies wouldn’t only create less of a burden on those people who choose to use marijuana (which is a surprising number of adults), but it would similarly lessen the burden on the state, currently tasked with enforcing and prosecuting these victimless marijuana crimes.
Another 58 percent of Texans approve of changing state laws to allow the seriously ill to medicate with marijuana with doctor’s approval. Twenty other states have varying medical marijuana laws in place now, so Texans’ willingness to join these ranks would not be as pioneering as if the state legalized pot altogether.
“There is ample research demonstrating the medical benefits of marijuana in the treatment of several debilitating conditions,” said Kampia. “People suffering from cancer and multiple sclerosis should not face the threat of arrest for using medical marijuana if their doctors believe it will help ease their suffering.”
Until such marijuana law changes are put before voters, we may not see them change. If the measure is up to legislators to decide, they will need some encouragement from their constituents.