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Texas Republican Party Policies Include Opposition to Cannabis Legalization

Last week, the 2022 Texas State Republican Convention took place in person for the first-time since 2018. The party approved 275 platform plans, which are the principal policies of Republican Party, in order to cover a wide range of topics.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke posted on Twitter some of the “extreme agenda” among these planks as: “abolish abortion, defund public schools, take away health care, repeal gun laws, deny voting rights, reject marijuana legalization.”

The Report of the Permanent 2022 Platform & Resolutions Committee policy list briefly addresses cannabis, marijuana, hemp and synthetic drugs.

It only mentions cannabis once, which is described as “Cannabis Classification: Congress should remove cannabis from the list of Schedule 1 and move to Schedule 2.”

It also includes the term “marijuana” “Marijuana Remains Illegal: Oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana and offer opportunities for drug treatment before penalties for its illegal possession, use, or distribution.”

This briefly addresses hemp. “Reduce Business Regulations: We believe that the following businesses should be minimally regulated at all levels,” which among a list of 14 laws in question, it states “Use of hemp as an agricultural commodity.”

This will require the approval of the official party to officially tally these planks. The official recognition of the planks is still uncertain.

In 2018, the Texas Republican Party endorsed cannabis decriminalization, and also called for a change to the herb’s federal classification of Schedule I.

Texas governor. Greg Abbott expressed his support for marijuana reform that includes decriminalization. “Marijuana is now a Class C misdemeanor in the state of Texas, and so one thing that I believe in—and I believe the state legislature believes in—and that is prison and jail is a place for dangerous criminals who may harm others, and small possession of marijuana is not the type of violation that we want to stockpile jails with,” said Abbott. “So, we have been making steps in that regard.” However, his statement was incorrect in referencing the current law, with low-level cannabis possession still being a Class B misdemeanor and can lead to up to six months in jail.

The most recent survey was conducted by The Dallas Morning NewsUniversity of Texas at Tyler: Texas voters want medical marijuana legalization. In May’s poll, 91% (of Democrats), 81% (of Independents) and 74% (44% of Republicans) supported medical marijuana legalization. This question asked respondents about their opinion on the use of adult-use marijuana. They were less strong than those who supported it (64% of Independents, 76% of Democrats and 42% of Republicans, respectively).

In the meantime, marijuana advocates have been working towards legalization. Harker Heights (Killeen), San Marcos (San Marcos), and Denton have so far developed ballot initiatives. A recent decriminalization-and-no-knock warrant initiative was also launched. Prop A in Austin was approved by voters on May 7. Ground Game Texas was the driving force behind these efforts. “Following the success of Prop A in Austin and the recent securing of ballot initiatives in Killeen and San Marcos, Ground Game Texas is proud to give Harker Heights residents the opportunity to decriminalize marijuana,” said Ground Game Texas’s Executive Director Julie Oliver in a press release. “Ground Game Texas continues to demonstrate that popular policies around issues like workers, wages, and weed can help expand and electrify the electorate in Texas when they’re put directly in front of voters.”