Texas Republicans Are Coming Around on Marijuana

Republicans in Texas, apparently, are ready to discuss marijuana reform. For the first time in the state’s history, delegates from the GOP accepted a platform on Saturday, June 16, 2018, at their convention in San Antonio that would significantly alter the way the state views decriminalization, industrial hemp, and medical marijuana.

Texas Republicans, in addition to calling for a change to marijuana’s classification within the Controlled Substance Act, have now officially endorsed the following issues:

Marijuana Decriminalization:

“We support a change in the law to make it a civil, and not a criminal, offense for legal adults only to possess one ounce or less of marijuana for personal use, punishable by a fine of up to $100, but without jail time.”

Industrial Hemp Cultivation:

We recognize industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural commodity. We urge the Texas Legislature to pass legislation allowing cultivation, manufacture, and sale of industrial hemp and hemp products.”

Expand Compassionate Use Act:

“We call upon the Texas Legislature to improve the 2015 Compassionate Use Act to allow doctors to determine the appropriate use of cannabis to certified patients.”

A welcome epiphany for the voters of Texas, there remains one prominent obstacle to sensible marijuana reform in the Lone Star State: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Last April, after Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg decriminalized low-level marijuana possession, Patrick compared Ogg’s decision to the creation of a sanctuary city. The second-highest official in Texas, Patrick is the president of the Texas Senate and can block legislation from receiving an up or down vote.

The Texas GOP’s endorsement of decriminalization capped off a busy couple of weeks in the reform movement. A progressive barometer for the body politic, Republicans have recently shown tacit support for supporting states’ rights and legalizing industrial hemp.

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