Poll: Texans in the Houston area largely in support of marijuana decriminalization
A recently released poll shows that residents of Harris County support decriminalizing marijuana.
Performed by KHOU – Houston Public Media, the poll showed 62 percent in favor of decriminalizing marijuana, with 29 percent opposed, and eight percent undecided.
The question asked respondents if they favored decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, with no prison time and no criminal record.
On the subject of legalizing the non-toxic plant however, 49 percent of respondents said that they oppose legalization, while 43 percent are in support. Another eight percent were undecided.
Polls have recently shown support for legalization in both Texas and nationally at 58 percent.
No questions were asked about medical marijuana, which enjoys over 70 percent support nationally and in Texas.
The topic of marijuana laws has been a large point of debate in Harris County. Two candidates vying for the district attorney seat this November have both introduced plans which would change how the judicial system handles cannabis arrests.
Incumbent Devon Anderson’s program would include community service, drug rehab, and a trip to jail for first time offenders. Anyone who already has a record would not be eligible. Her opponent, Kim Ogg, first proposed a plan which would include all offenders who possess under four ounces, and would only require community service with no trip to jail. Completion of these programs would ensure a clean record afterwards.
Anderson has been criticized because her plan would only affect those jurisdictions in the county which opt in, meaning that while one person is cited and released on one side of the street, someone on the other side would be subjected to the full force of the judicial system.
Republicans are more likely than Democrats to oppose legalizing marijuana, but decriminalization is favored equally by members of both parties.
The phone survey of 325 likely voters was conducted between September 22 and October 15. The margin of error was 5.4%.