The latest research from Public Policy Polling shows that a significant majority of Texans would support ending the prohibition on marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use.
According to the poll, 58 percent of respondents replied “support” when asked, “Do you support or oppose changing the law in Texas to allow seriously and terminally ill patients to use medical marijuana for a limited number of conditions if their doctors recommend it?” Just 31 percent replied “oppose,” while 11 percent were “not sure.”
About the same number of respondents agreed with legalizing marijuana for recreational use. The poll asked, “The voters in Colorado and Washington changed their laws to allow marijuana to be regulated similarly to alcohol for adults age 21 and older. Would you support or oppose changing Texas law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol, where stores would be licensed to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older?” Forty-one percent replied “strongly support,” 17 percent replied “somewhat support” and the rest were either opposed or unsure.
As expected, Democrats showed stronger support than Republicans for legalizing marijuana. While 53 percent of Democrats strongly supports legalizing the drug for recreational use, just 33 percent of Republicans feel the same way. However, that still represents one-third of the conservative base, a significant portion.
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Currently, Texas has some of the toughest marijuana laws in the nation. Owning even a small amount of the drug can earn offenders up to year in jail and $2,000 in fines.
“Marijuana prohibition has been just as big a failure as alcohol prohibition,” said Marijuana Policy Project executive director Rob Kampia, who lives in Texas part-time. “Most Texans agree that marijuana sales should be conducted by legitimate businesses instead of drug cartels in the underground market.”
Kampia added, “No adult should face potentially life-altering criminal penalties for using a product that is significantly less harmful than alcohol.”