Diane Russell

Majority of Texans for Marijuana Reform

Around the country, several states have already passed laws where possessing a small amount for personal consumption or buying it for that matter won’t get you thrown in jail or even charged for that matter. In some states possession of paraphernalia such a electronic vape pen or pipe which is known to have been used with an illegal drug can get you a stiff fine. In other states, recreational marijuana is legal, with medical marijuana being a legal alternative in nearly 2 dozen states. There are two paths for legislation to follow, both are good for the citizens and law enforcement. One way would be some sort of legalization for either medical or recreational use as we see in effect in other states. The other path would be to decriminalize possession to keep people from the judicial meat grinder.

In a recent poll by UT/Texas Tribune, 76 percent of Texas voters want to see some kind of reform to the marijuana laws in Texas. Only 24 percent of citizens want the laws to remain the same. I imagine those are people from a different generation which didn’t have the information we have now. Let’s face it, there was a little bit to much of propaganda used on our predecessors, so it’s not all their fault. I hear the complaints from the misinformed saying things like, “There will be a bunch of potheads smoking in public, being belligerent, driving while high, start using hard drugs and committing various crimes that endanger the public.” This is mostly uninformed propaganda and bias.

“We have to realize that there is a such thing as a bad law or laws and I think that’s what people are realizing now, it’s a bad law,” said Ann Lee of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition. She went on to say “The government should not stand in the way of you getting the medicine you and your doctor think is best for you”.

The 76 percent said they would favor the law and agreed that it’s time for medical marijuana to be legalized in Texas. Glad to see our friends down in this heavily voting red state are finally realizing the importance of legal marijuana as a medical option for the citizens as well as an effective revenue stream for the state coffers.

More people supporting a change in the current law is a trend that is only going to increase. As far back as 2013, a lifetime in current political years, 58 percent of Texans supported regulated the plant in a similar fashion as we regulate the sale of alcohol. The regular voters simply aren’t as hysterical about this issue as the busy bodies and politicos make them out to be.

Our elected officials seem to be afraid of standing up for sensible legislation because of what people might think. Mark Jones, a political analyst, says “None of them or virtually none of them want to be labeled in the republican primary as the candidate who voted to legalize drugs.” He also went on to say that the people of Texas are ready for the laws to change but conservative politicians in Austin are not.

In 2014, Governor Rick Perry not needing to run for office again, said that he supports decriminalization and lessing extreme punishment we currently have. The Houston DA later on in October 2014 took this same idea and put forward a first step by not prosecuting first time pot offenders. In December of the same year, Democrat Representative Joe Moody proposed lowering the penalties for possession of the plant at the state level, with possession of one ounce leading to a $100 fine such as with a traffic ticket instead of the six months in jail and $2000 fine.

We need medical marijuana to be legalized so patients can get proper treatment. Some of the time the appropriate treatment is this maligned plant. This experiment has been run in dozens of other states, and it is legal for recreational use in two states and the District of Columbia. We need to stop ruining a young person’s future by labeling them a criminal for rest of their life just because of where they are a plant everyone thinks is just like a beer or prescription medication. It is clear this is not the threat it was made out to be. Let your local and state representatives your opinion by writing and calling; you CAN have a voice in this process.


Houston Chronicle - http://www.chron.com/life/healthzone/article/Poll-Texans-support-legalizing-marijuana-4894888.php

Best Vape Pen - http://bestvapepen.net/#legal

San Antonio Express News - http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Gov-Rick-Perry-for-decriminalization-of-pot-5168667.php

Time Magazine - http://time.com/3633989/texas-marijuana-decriminalization/

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