Texas: 20 percent oppose marijuana reform, 46 percent support legalization
Polling by Texas Lyceum during 2015 showed that while only about 20 percent of Texans oppose marijuana law reform, overall support for legalization hovers around 46 percent.
The poll asked a two-part question, the first being if the respondent would “support or oppose legalizing the use of
marijuana in the state of Texas?”
About 50 percent stated that they would oppose legalizing marijuana.
Those responding in opposition were then given the following question.
You said that you opposed legalizing the use of marijuana in Texas, would you support or oppose reducing the maximum punishment for possessing small amounts of marijuana to a citation and a fine?
Of those who opposed legalization, 57 percent stated that they would support such a reduction in penalty, while 39 percent were still opposed.
“This means that among Texas adults, only 19.5 percent expressed opposition to both the legalization and/or the decriminalization of marijuana,” according to Texas Lyceum. That leaves support for reducing marijuana possession penalties at 74.5 percent.
A majority of Democrats support legalization (54 percent support; 42 percent oppose) while a majority of Republicans oppose legalization (37 percent support; 61 percent oppose).
50 percent of whites support legalization while 56 percent of Hispanics and 51 percent of blacks stand in opposition.
Eighteen to 29-year-olds are the only age group in which a majority supports legalization (66 percent).
However on the topic of decreasing the penalty for possession to a citation and fine, a majority in each group was in favor, whether it be by party (60 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of Republicans), race (whites 59 percent, Hispanics 56 percent, and blacks 52 percent), or age.
In all, 12 cannabis related bills were filed in the 2015 Texas legislative session, one of which was by Rep. Joe Moody, a Democrat from El Paso, which would have decreased the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana to a citation and fine. That bill passed committee, however the calendar committee refused to schedule it and another marijuana-related bill for a vote by the full Texas House of Representatives.
In a survey of the top five important issues to Texans, the subject of cannabis law reform did not make the list.
The subject of medical marijuana was not covered, however the most recent polling on the issue by Public Policy Polling in 2013 showed 58 percent support for legalizing medicinal cannabis.