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Where Texas candidates for governor stand on marijuana

Texas-VoteElection day is Tuesday, November 4 and many will head to the polls and have their vote influenced by a candidate’s stance on changing marijuana laws. A high turnout in Texas very well could tip the scales if cannabis issue voters show up.

One election which everyone has their eyes on is the race for governor of Texas, which includes four candidates.

Based on information from various resources along with public statements, the field features an array of views when it comes to the subject of marijuana laws.

The race includes current Texas Attorney General and GOP candidate Greg Abbott, Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis, Libertarian Party candidate Kathie Glass, and Green Party Candidate Brandon Parmer.

Though Abbott has largely been secretive about his position on marijuana, form letters sent from his office indicate that he opposes changing marijuana laws.

In one of those letters it is stated, “Greg Abbott supports current drug policy. Drug use affects every sector of society, straining our economy, our healthcare and criminal justice systems, and endangering the futures of young people. The best methods of combating this problem include a combination of medical treatment and criminal enforcement. Marijuana remains a Schedule I drug (the highest tier of restriction) under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. This means that the substance is recognized by the U.S. government as having a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use, and a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision”

Davis on the other hand has come out in support of medical marijuana, saying “I personally believe that medical marijuana should be allowed for” while speaking with the Dallas Morning News.

She also stated that had a been made it to the senate floor to reduce the penalties for possession of one ounces or less, she would have voted for it.

Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018
Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018

“We as a state need to think about the cost of that incarceration and, obviously, the cost to the taxpayers as a consequence of it, and whether we’re really solving any problem for the state by virtue of incarcerations for small amounts of marijuana possession” Davis stated.

As for full legalization?

“From a philosophical position, do I have any objections to the fact that citizens might want to legalize marijuana? No, I don’t,” Davis told the editorial board. “But I think watching to see how this experiment plays out in other states is probably advisable before I could tell you for sure.”

Libertarian candidate Glass has come out in full support of changing marijuana laws, saying that she completely supports legalizing and regulation marijuana like alcohol. She would also support decriminalization and medical marijuana “only if that is the best we can get.”

No stance could be found for Parmer.

Recent polling shows Abbott averaging around 53 percent support, with Davis nabbing about an average of 37 percent. Both Glass and Parmer have been excluded from polling, as well as the debates.

Support for marijuana legalization in both Texas and nationally has been marked at 58 percent.

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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