Texas support grows for medical marijuana in 2016
A recent poll shows that support for medical marijuana in Texas continues to grow, however full legalization is another matter entirely.
TEGNA Media, which owns a wide-ranging portfolio of media outlets and reaches one-third of all television households nationwide, recently conducted a poll on a multitude of issues and found that 71 percent of Texans are in favor of medical marijuana.
About 19 percent are still opposed to patients having medical marijuana, while another 11 percent are undecided.
A limited medical marijuana extract was legalized during the 2015 Texas legislative session, and sets up the possibility of companies producing CBD oil by 2017. This will only be available to epilepsy patients who have already ruled out brain surgery as a treatment option.
“The fact that even Republicans, by a margin of almost 71 percent, support marijuana uses for medicinal health reasons I think suggests that this is where you’re beginning to see the trend,” said Bob Stein, KHOU’s political analyst.
These figures have been steadily climbing over the years.
Legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes garnered 41 percent support, with 49 percent opposing and 10 percent undecided.
Other polls have shown support for fully legalizing marijuana in Texas has been anywhere between 46 and 52 percent.
The poll did not ask about decreasing the penalty for marijuana possession, which recently garnered almost 75 percent support.
Several bills were introduced during the 2015 state legislative session which addressed all of these issues. Bills fully legalizing marijuana and making possession of small amounts a ticket only fine were passed out of committee, however the legislature did not hear or vote on them. A whole plant medical marijuana bill had enough votes to pass out of committee but was not voted on due to the Public Health Committee chair refusing to allow a vote.
That state legislator at one point turned off the phones in her office because she was receiving so many calls to put the bill to a vote. Rep. Myra Crownover, a Republican from Denton, opted not to run for re-election afterwards.