Politicians and Leaders on the issue of Marijuana in Texas

Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas

“I remain convinced that Texas should not legalize marijuana, nor should Texas open the door for conventional marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes. As governor, I will not allow it; SB 339 does not open the door to marijuana in Texas.” – Texas Tribune

“Governor Abbott opposes the legalization of marijuana in the State of Texas.” ~ Press Secretary John Wittman – KHOU

Ted Cruz, US Senator

“When it comes to a question of legalizing marijuana, I don’t support legalizing marijuana. If it were on the ballot in the state of Texas, I would vote no. But I also believe that’s a legitimate question for the states to make a determination…I think it is appropriate for the federal government to recognize that the citizens of those states have made that decision, and one of the benefits of it, you know, using Brandeis’ terms of laboratories of democracy, is we can now watch and see what happens in Colorado and Washington State.” – Sun Times

Jose Menendez, State Senator

“Doctors, not politicians, should be determining what is best for Texas patients. This is legitimate medicine that can help a of variety people, from the grandmother suffering from cancer to the veteran coping with PTSD after returning home from war.” – Texas Cannabis Report

A.J. Louderback, Jackson County Sheriff

“We deal with so many people who are intoxicated or high, do we really need to legalize another method.” – KHOU

Kim Ogg, Harris County District Attorney

“I’ve never felt good about putting marijuana users in the same jail cells as murderers. It’s just not fair, it doesn’t make any sense, and our country is resoundingly against that.” – CW39

“I want to send offenders for non-violent offences, especially marijuana, around jail. I don’t want them to pay bail. Most importantly, we don’t have people to have a permanent criminal record for a small offense that then stands in the way of future opportunity.” – KHOU

Art Acevedo, Houston Police Chief

“I think you’ll have a really spirited but well-informed discussion, and at some point I could really foresee, in the future, marijuana and some other oils being legalized for medicinal purposes; it will probably be the first step in Texas. For those that are involved in the violence of the drug trade, that’s who I want to focus on. I want to focus on the people that are the big movers and shakers that are poisoning young people.” – Houston Chronicle

David Brown, Dallas Police Chief

“Dallas Police Chief David Brown says he has mixed feelings about writing tickets instead of making arrests when people are caught with small amounts of marijuana. But, the chief said Tuesday, the approach is ‘just so damn practical.'” – Dallas Morning News

Nick Novello, Active Duty Dallas Police Officer

“We are preying on those we have sworn to protect, and this perverse dynamic is felt most in black and brown communities. Reform has become the imperative of the day.” – Texas Cannabis Report

Harold Dutton, Houston State Representative

“Trying to pass marijuana legislation in Texas is akin to trying to clean the Statue of Liberty by licking it.” – Houston Press

Hugh Shine, State Representative

“I look around at other states, and yes they have passed legislation for medical marijuana, but it’s become a means for recreational use.” – KCEN

Doc Anderson – State Representative

“There’s overwhelming opposition to going forward with that (legalization) in district 56.” – KCEN

Donna Campbell – State Senator

“Thanks for forwarding these posts, but I am looking for far more than anectdotal [sic] evidence. Heck, I could write a book on all the anectdotal remedies I’ve heard people swear worked when they came into the ER, even though they were often masking the symptoms of a serious disease or creating their own seperate [sic] and harmful side effects. Like I said, your work is cut out in convincing me and it’s going to take overwhelming scientific data, but I appreciate your continued feedback.” – Texas Cannabis Report

Jason Isaac – State Representative

Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018
Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018

State Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, told the American-Statesman that too many Texans have missed out on jobs because of criminal records that involve nonviolent drug charges. Isaac said he plans to support decriminalization bills in the upcoming legislative session, which will begin in January, to make sure more Texans can get jobs and not face a lifetime with the stigma of a criminal conviction. They are branded that way forever, and that should not be the case. Isaac not only would like to improve the situation going forward; he prefers to pass something to help people who already have convictions, he said.

Bill Hammond – Texas Association of Business President and CEO

The Texas Association of Business supports reducing penalties for nonviolent minor crimes. “Possession of small amounts of marijuana should be a ticketing offense,” said Bill Hammond, the association’s president and CEO. It is “ridiculous” to arrest and incarcerate people for minor offenses, he said. – American-Statesman

Texas Sheriff’s Association

The Texas Sheriff’s Association, one of the oldest law enforcement associations in the nation, claimed that considering the legalization of marijuana in Texas is reckless and irresponsible. “While marijuana may not be addictive in most cases, the same people who are susceptible to alcohol addiction are subject to marijuana addiction,” the Sheriff’s Association claimed in its 2014 report “Sheriff’s Association of Texas says ‘No’ to Marijuana.” “We have never allowed it, and we never will,” the Sheriff’s Association continued. “Our children are the future of our state, and it is irresponsible for us, as adults, to play fast and loose with their minds and their futures. They are not of an age to make these decisions, so it’s up to us to make the right choices.” – Dallas Observer

Jose Menendez, State Senator

“If we are compassionate about kids with epilepsy as we should be, then we should be compassionate about people with cancer and cataracts and glaucoma and veterans that are being put on all sorts of opioids when they don’t want to be, but many of them will say, in confidence, that they feel that they are being made to be criminals by looking for a better way to treat their problem.” – Houston Public Media

Joe Straus, State Representative and House Speaker

While legalization remains a vast longshot in Texas, House Speaker Joe Straus said he feels the discussion is becoming “more serious.” “I’m not predicting that a bill will pass, but I do think there will be some consideration, when before it may have just been put off to the side.” Referring to medical uses of marijuana, Straus said: “It’s pretty moving when you talk to the parent of a child who thinks that laws are restricting the ability of a family to get help for their children.” – Dallas Morning News

Dr. M. Scott Perry, Pediatric Epileptologist at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth

Last year he told state lawmakers that early research shows that the oil can prevent seizures and that this drug “holds great promise.” He said it’s frustrating that he “can’t prescribe CBD to patients in my state, in Texas.” “Do I feel comfortable now that it is safe enough? I absolutely do,” he said. – Star Telegram

Bryan Hughes, State Representative

“Whatever kind of case we are talking about, we expect law enforcement and prosecutors to use discretion and put the resources in the best place.” – Austin Statesman

“If we can intercept these people before they get in the system and before they have a real drug problem and get them some help and keep them out of that criminal justice system then everybody wins, It’s good for them, it saves the tax payers money, everybody wins.” – Dallas Morning News

Jonathan Stickland, State Representative

“We are very close to doing something in this state on this issue. The argument is liberty, not cannabis.” – Fusion

Tan Parker, State Representative

This election season our newspaper added two questions on drug policy to questionnaires we sent candidates for state offices. Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, surprised me with his answer on whether he’d support putting a medical marijuana amendment on the ballot for voters to decide. Parker said he’d be open to a tightly written medical marijuana amendment. Further, in an interview with the editorial board yesterday (along with his Democratic opponent, Daniel Moran, a UNT student), Parker said he would support legislation eliminating jail time for possession of small amounts of marijuana. (He has an extensive response at the following link) – Dallas Morning News

Rick Perry, Former Governor of Texas

“After 40 years of the war on drugs, [I] can’t change what happened in the past. What [I] can do as the governor of the second-largest state in the nation is to implement policies that start us toward a decriminalization and keep people from going to prison and destroying their lives.” – Houston Press

Christopher Dyer, President of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Association

“On most decisions like this, l try to weigh what we gain versus what we lose,” Dyer said. “I have not reviewed all of these bills in any detail but I do not believe the legalization of marijuana would be in the best interests of Texas.” – Dallas Observer

Chris Kirk, Brazos County Sheriff

The Sheriff’s Association position is that we are going to oppose any effort to decriminalize marijuana, or legalize medical marijuana or any of the components of marijuana. Of course, we will vigorously oppose any effort to legalize marijuana.” – Daily Caller

League of Women Voters Texas

Laws regarding drug abuse and drug addiction should include drug treatment programs as an alternative to incarceration, and would include no criminal penalties for cannabis (marihuana) possession when recommended by a physician. LWVTexas.org

Philip Kingston, Dallas City Council Member

“I’m as transparent about this as I can be. My hope is that this will finally convince DPD to ignore marijuana. That is my goal, that they will ignore marijuana. I know that I don’t have the power to legalize the stuff, but I do have the power to correctly allocate criminal justice resources that are under my control so that they aren’t spent on pot.” – Dallas Observer