Texas Lt. Governor candidate supports medical marijuana
Four candidates vying for the Texas Lt. Governor GOP nomination debated a range of topics this past Monday. The topic of marijuana came up.
As current Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and two other candidates, State Sen. Dan Patrick and Agricultural Commissioner Todd Staples stepped up to give what has been the typical response by entrenched Republican candidates, out and out opposing any sort of change in policy concerning cannabis, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson went a different route.
While Patterson still opposes legalizing or lowering the possession penalties for marijuana, he proclaimed support for the medical use of cannabis.
“We have medical barbiturates. We have medical amphetamines. We have medical codeine. We have medical all of these compounds,” said Patterson. “I’m not a doctor, but if there is medical efficacy for the use of tetrahydrocannabinol and the doctor prescribes it, I see nothing wrong with that. We’re talking about medicine. We’re not talking about recreational use.”
It’s a step in the direction of prevailing public opinion, albeit a small one. Texans support legalizing marijuana, with a poll showing 58% in support.
The other three candidates stood firm with Dewhurst stating “I would not legalize it. I would not decriminalize it. I think marijuana can be an addictive drug and cause problems for people who are suffering from that addiction.”
Staples added, “We do not need to lower our standards.” He also called for drug testing of anyone who receive food stamps and other government assistance, despite the massive failures of such programs in other states.
“We know the medical research proves, without question, that marijuana does impact young people more than older people,” said Patrick. “So it’s a non-starter with me.”
Despite a somewhat more reasonable response from Patterson concerning medical marijuana, Jacquielynn Floyd over at the Dallas Morning News summed up the debate as “crazy talk.” She added that the candidates largely catered to their party’s most isolated extreme.
The Lt. Governor is considered the most powerful elected position in Texas. The person who holds this seat ultimately controls what bills are heard in the state legislature’s senate. An overview of the position’s powers can be found here.
By: Stephen Carter
Contact Stephen via email at TXCann@gmail.com