Rob Kampia predicts 2019 as the year for legalizing marijuana in Texas
Following the legalization of retail marijuana sales in Colorado and Washington, and medical marijuana in 22 states with more to follow, marijuana legalization appears inevitable — even in “law and order” states such as Texas. The question is no longer if Texas will legalize, but when? This question has important policy implications for incarceration costs, civil liberties and medical marijuana patients.
My organization, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), recently started investing real money in the effort to end marijuana prohibition in Texas. This is a coalition effort that will hopefully resemble the coalition effort in Maryland, which is the best example of how organizations across the political spectrum can join together to reform a state’s marijuana laws.
One reason for MPP’s interest in Texas is the public opinion polling, which is quite good. For example, in February 2014, the Texas Tribune and The University of Texas surveyed 1,200 Texan adults and found that 77 percent support legalizing medical marijuana, 49 percent support making marijuana legal for nonmedical purposes, and 23 percent support keeping marijuana illegal under all circumstances. In September 2013, Public Policy Polling surveyed 860 Texas voters and found that 58 percent support taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol, 61 percent support imposing $100 tickets rather than arrests and jail time for people who possess marijuana, and 58 percent support legalizing the use of medical marijuana.
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