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Texas Poll Shows Majority Support Legalizing Recreational Weed

According to a poll, the majority of Texas registered voters support legalizing recreational marijuana. According to The Dallas Morning NewsAccording to a University of Texas at Tyler poll, 55% of Texans support the legalization of adult-use cannabis. With 72% of those polled saying they strongly or support legalization for medical cannabis, the percentage supporting legalization was higher.

Overall, 34% of the poll’s respondents said they strongly support legalizing marijuana for adult use, while 21% said they support the move. Over a third of respondents said they opposed legalizing recreational marijuana. Only 14% reported that they were opposed. 21% stated they are strongly opposed. While 9% indicated they do not support or oppose legalization.

Political affiliations can affect how much support you have for legalizing adult-use marijuana. 38% of Democrats said that they supported legalizing cannabis, while 27% stated they were in favor. Independent voters’ support for recreational cannabis was also strong, with 42% saying they strongly support legalization and 21% saying they support it. Republicans were the least supportive of legalizing recreational marijuana, with only 26% and 17% supporting or strongly backing legalization respectively.

Laurie Richardson (a Frisco, Texas Democrat) responded to the poll and stated that she has not smoked cannabis. But she added that she knows cannabis has medical benefits, and when it comes to personal use, “prohibition doesn’t work.”

“We tried to prohibit alcohol, and then you have all these people trying to create their own alcohol and people getting alcohol poisoning — I feel the same way with marijuana,” Richardson said. “I just don’t think you’re gonna be able to stop people from accessing it if they want it. I think it needs to be treated almost like alcohol.”

Nearly half of Republicans oppose legalization for adult-use cannabis

The poll found that nearly half (48%) of the respondents said they opposed legalization for adult-use cannabis. Although 16% were against, 32% were very opposed.

“If they legalized it, you’re gonna have a dispensary pop up on every corner in our town, and that’s not really something that I look forward to seeing every day,” said Tyler, Texas resident Edwin Kirby, a Republican and one of the poll’s respondents. “With the drug problems we have now with young kids, that’s just gonna add fuel to the fire.”

Republican leaders in Texas are less enthusiastic about legalizing recreational marijuana. Although Governor Greg Abbot stated that he supports lowering pot possession charges to a misdemeanor, rather than a felony offense, he opposes any broader cannabis policy reforms. Dan Patrick, the Lieutenant Governor in Texas, has blocked cannabis reform legislation from reaching Texas Senate. Republicans also approved a platform at the Texas GOP convention that was opposed to legalizing recreational marijuana.

Get even stronger support for medical marijuana Texas

Texas voters were even more supportive of legalizing medical cannabis. In 2015, state lawmakers approved a very limited amount of legislation that allowed for medical use of marijuana oil with 0.5% THC to treat epilepsy. Since then, some changes have been made in order to expand the program. Earlier this year, the legislature approved an expansion to include patients with cancer and PTSD, but the medical cannabis program in Texas remains one of the nation’s strictest.

The poll revealed that 72% support legalizing medical cannabis. This includes 44% of those who strongly supported it and 28% of those who support it. Three-quarters of Democrats are for legalizing medicinal cannabis. Four nineteen percent said that they supported legalization while 26% stated they did. The support was greater among independents with 51% saying that they strongly support medical legalization, and 26% saying that they support it. Three-quarters of Republicans support legalizing medical marijuana. 35% support it strongly and 32% support it.

“I’ve got a son that was in the Marine Corps, and he uses it for medicinal purposes,” said Paula Miller, a Republican in Diboll, Texas who responded to the poll. “If anything, they need to make alcohol illegal,” she added after noting that a family member died in a traffic collision caused by a drunk driver.

On Monday, the new poll showed that support for legalizing marijuana has dropped compared with earlier in this year. These are the results. Dallas Morning News/UT Tyler poll released May 2 showed 83% support legalizing medical cannabis and 60% supporting legalization of marijuana for adult use.

New Dallas Morning News1/UT-Tyler poll was conducted between August 1 and August 7. It surveyed a representative sampling of 1,358 registered voters by telephone about a range of topics that are of concern to Texans. A margin of error is +/-2.8 percentage points.