Texas governor says marijuana will not be legalized this year
Texas governor Greg Abbott stated earlier this week that lawmakers would not approve legislation that would legalize marijuana.
While he did not give his personal views on the issue, or whether or not he would veto such a bill if it were to come to his desk, Abbott believes neither a bill to decrease possession of an ounce or less of cannabis to a $100 fine, nor a broader bill which would repeal all marijuana possession penalties would make it out of the legislature. A third bill has also been introduced which would decrease the penalty for possession of less than .35 ounces as well.
“I don’t think decriminalizing marijuana is going to happen this session,” Abbott said during a news conference. “I will see Texas continuing to lead the way of diverting away from activity that involves drug use and helping people lead more productive lives.”
This statement comes despite recent polls by Texas Tribune showing that 77 percent of Texans want to change marijuana laws.
“Texas has really been a national leader with regard to drug diversion courts and drug diversion programs,” Abbott said. “Our goal is not to stockpile prisons with people who are arrested with minor possession issues, our goal is to help those who are found with minor possession take a pathway that is more productive than what jail provides.”
On average Texas arrests about 77,000 people per year for marijuana.
No bills have been introduced which would legalize and regulate marijuana like other states such as Colorado, Washington, Oregon, or Alaska.
Abbott did not mention medical marijuana, which enjoys a strong majority of support across the country.
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