Despite the hardline rhetoric of a vocal minority of prohibitionists, support for cannabis reform is growing in every corner of the country.
At this weekend’s Texas Republican party convention, state delegates voted to approve several additions to their official platform, including support for decriminalization of low-level marijuana possession charges, as well as expanding the state’s medical marijuana program. The party has also declared its support for legal hemp and recommended that the federal government change the legal classification of cannabis. Anyone busted with two or fewer ounces of weed in the Lone Star state can currently face up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine. Even in jurisdictions that have chosen to do so, the policy has done little to stop the disproportionate enforcement of cannabis laws against minorities, as individuals are still assigned court dates, and anyone who misses these dates is subject to being jailed. Last year, lawmakers proposed a bill to expand the state’s MMJ program, but were unable to push the bills through before the end of the legislative session.
Texas Republicans have also officially voiced their support for the federal reclassification of cannabis. The drug is currently classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, a category reserved for dangerous drugs with no medical value. The party has recommended that cannabis be moved to Schedule II, where it will coexist with drugs that are considered dangerous but medically necessary, like methadone or oxycodone.