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Marijuana at the ballot box in Texas 2016

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At least 9 states will vote on some form of cannabis legislation during the election this year. Texas has its own process.

Now that early voting has begun, you can go to several polling locations and cast your vote in a number of races, including President, Texas Railroad Commissioner, and local elections. You won’t see any marijuana legislation on the ballot though.

This is because unlike other states, Texas does not have a ballot initiative process. Instead of citizens being able to submit legislation for all Texans to vote on, it is left up the the Texas legislature to submit and pass bills.

The issue of marijuana is still very relevant at the ballot box this year however. Who you elect to both the Texas House of Representatives and Senate will greatly determine what progress is made on cannabis law reform during the 2017 legislative session.

To help aid voters in selecting their candidates, Texas NORML and Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy have partnered to release a Marijuana Policy Voter Guide.

Simply put in your home address and it will show you all of the relevant candidates. You can print this guide out and take it with you to voting booth.

They asked candidates five questions pertaining to the issue of cannabis. You can see the responses from candidates who are running to represent you.

  • Do you support or oppose changing state law to allow residents with debilitating medical conditions (e.g. cancer, multiple sclerosis, PTSD) to access whole plant medical marijuana with a physician’s certification?
  • Under current Texas laws, individuals found in possession of less than one ounce of marijuana can be arrested and given a criminal record, and they face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Do you support or oppose changing state law to make possession of less than one ounce of marijuana a civil offense punishable by a fine and no time in jail?
  • Do you support or oppose changing state law to allow adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana and establishing a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol? Under such a system, it would remain illegal to consume marijuana in public or drive under the influence of marijuana.
  • Industrial hemp is genetically similar to marijuana but contains less than 0.3% of the psychoactive chemical in marijuana (THC). Although it is illegal to grow in the U.S., it is cultivated around the world for its seed and fiber, which are used in many legal products, such as paper, textiles, construction materials, and fuel. Do you support or oppose changing state law to allow the cultivation of industrial hemp?
  • Do you agree or disagree that states should be able to carry out their own marijuana policies without interference from the federal government?

Election day is Tuesday, November 8. However you can early vote from Monday, October 24 through Friday, November 4.

Click here to find out where you can vote. You’ll also need some form of ID, and if you don’t have a driver’s license or Texas issued identification card, there are still a number of ways you can vote.

Stay up to date with the latest cannabis news from a Texas perspective by following the Texas Cannabis Report social media pages.
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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a 30 year old journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas and serves as Deputy Director for NORML of Waco. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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2 Comments

  1. Lonnie Williams
    October 24, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    when will Texas wake up?

  2. Thomas Tweed
    October 24, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    I am returning home shortly after the new year from CA.
    I would be happy to join/assist you folks whenever I could .
    However I was involved in a rear ender hit and run in July and lost my job 3
    weeks ago and have lost my job.
    I no longer am able to walk with out assistance.
    Thanks,
    Tom T