Texas Republicans Embrace Marijuana, Put Decriminalization in State Party Platform

The 2018 Texas Republican Convention finished up this past weekend, and many pressing issues were on the agenda. In a clear sign of the times, the firmly red state added planks into their party platform expressing sympathy with relaxing marijuana laws.

“Texas Republicans, like the majority of Americans, are ready to see more sensible marijuana policies enacted,” said Heather Fazio, who works at Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy. “Our state wastes valuable criminal justice resources arresting between 60,000-70,000 Texans annually. Delegates took a stand this week for a better approach.”

The Texas Republican Party not only favors legalizing medical marijuana for patients with qualifying conditions, but also favors decriminalizing the plant as well. This would make it so that individuals caught possessing a low-level amount of marijuana would be spared jail time and instead given small fines.

The Texas Tribune reported that the following plank was approved by Texas GOP delegates over the weekend: “We support a change in the law to make it a civil, and not a criminal, offense for legal adults only to possess one ounce or less of marijuana for personal use, punishable by a fine of up to $100, but without jail time. ”

As Attorney General Jeff Sessions desperately attempts to revive the drug war as Attorney General, the states continue to rebuke prohibition at every turn despite Sessions’ appeals to federal supremacy. When the Republican Party of a solidly red state comes out against repressive marijuana laws, that is a strong indicator that it is finally time to pull the plug on the federal war on drugs.

The Texas GOP also passed planks in favor of industrial hemp as a “valuable agricultural commodity,” against tax-payer funded lobbying, against the removal of confederate monuments, and in favor of “Constitutional Carry” laws that would allow permit-free concealed carry of firearms in certain instances. The full results can be viewed here.

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