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Texas’ Marijuana Prohibition Could Finally Be Over Next Year

Texas’ Marijuana Prohibition Could Finally Be Over Next Year

All you have to do is turn out to vote.

Look here, y’all. A whole bunch of states in the US have already legalized Marijuana. Texas could be next, but in order for that to happen, we all HAVE TO vote. We all HAVE TO vote blue.

If you haven’t been paying close attention, let me tell you about what the 2020 Texas Democratic Platform says about Marijuana legalization.

CANNABIS REFORM

Texas Democrats believe cannabis legalization reform can improve public safety, increase public health, boost the economy, reduce mass imprisonment and stigmas imposed on our citizens, and generate revenue for the state budget. Cannabis prosecutions have disproportionately affected our youth, people of color, and the poor. America’s prison population is now the largest in the world and Texas wastes millions of dollars prosecuting its citizens for cannabis possession.

The Texas Democratic Party supports policies and programs that:

  • Legalize the possession and use of cannabis, medicinal and recreational, and its derivatives in Texas, and regulate its use, production, and sale for public health and safety as is successfully done in, and currently benefiting, other states;
  • Regulate warning labels and advertisements to educate about the harms and side effects, particularly for minors, as done for tobacco, vaping, and alcohol, and utilize cannabis research to keep consumers informed;
  • Establish a taxation structure for the recreational use of cannabis that creates a dedicated revenue stream for public health, education, and medical research organizations, while maintaining reasonable levels so that the legal market will cut off the cartels’ hold;
  • Facilitate grants and prioritization of licenses to support the economic empowerment of cannabis-related businesses, their patients, and the communities most affected by the failed war on drugs;
  • Immediately legalize medical cannabis use and ensure healthcare coverage protections for medical cannabis;
  • Provide appropriate employment and benefit protections for users of medical cannabis and protections for parents who use medical cannabis for their children;
  • Eliminate cannabis-related workplace drug testing requirements for applicable state or local employees to reduce the costs to taxpayers;
  • Remove cannabis as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance at the federal level, decriminalize all penalties related to use and possession of cannabis, and prohibit the federal government from interfering with or attempting to enforce federal cannabis laws against those who comply with state-level legal cannabis programs;
  • Upon the legalization of cannabis in Texas, immediately release individuals incarcerated solely for possession of cannabis, and expunge the criminal records of persons convicted or receiving deferred adjudication for any possession of cannabis offense; and
  • Promote the use of pretrial diversion programs and civil fines for cannabis possession offenses in Texas.

Yeah. They’re serious about it.

Not only is Cannabis Reform on the Democratic Platform in 2020, but, it’s at the top of it. So, when our Texas legislators go back in session next year, we’ll get a bill for reform, and if we flip blue in November, that bill next year will pass.

There are so many benefits of Marijuana legalization, that it’s hard to argue against it. Even if you aren’t a Marijuana user, Marijuana legalization will still be beneficial to you 

Economical benefits.

According to this 2018 Joint Economic Committee report on the economics of Marijuana, National Cannabis sales are expected to hit $23 billion per year by 2022.

When California legalized weed, they made $1 billion in tax revenue within the first two years. This paid for things like child care for low-income families and public safety grants.

When Texas legalizes pot, the tax on it would bring significant revenue into our state. Being a Republican state for so long has hurt us from having a balanced budget. We have a HUGE deficit, as opposed to a state like California, that has a huge surplus. 

And as much as Republicans hate it, the government has to spend money on things like infrastructure, public education, and various programs for lower-income individuals. An extra billion in tax revenue would only help us, not hurt us.

Medical benefits.

Right now, Texas allows medical marijuana to some people, with some conditions. But it’s not available for many other conditions which people have. And even the medical marijuana that is available to some in Texas is very low grade. As in just a smidge above CBD in potency.

According to Harvard Medical School, pot can help alleviate pain for people who have MS, Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, HIV, IBS, and Crohn’s disease. 

Marijuana can be used to treat glaucoma, nausea, and even PTSD.

In comparison with current legal substances like tobacco and alcohol, marijuana’s long term effects on a person’s body are minimal.

Criminal justice.

In America, between 40% and 50% of all arrests are marijuana-related. In started where it has been legalized, we’ve seen significant drops in arrests and in turn a lower overhead in the criminal justice system.

Decades of oppressive policing, with BIPOC youth systematically targeted for harassment and intimidation. For nearly a half-century, law enforcement has executed its assault on cannabis by treating youth of color across the nation as the enemy. This is larger in part why our person systems are filled with Black and brown people.

Legalizing weed also means racial justice within the criminal justice system.

Why 2020 is the closest Texas has come to ending marijuana prohibition. 

Texas is going blue, we will see a blue wave this year. But it’s up to Texans on how big it will be. If we stay fired up and show up in October (for early voting) and on November 3rd, our blue wave could be huge. 

That would mean a lot of good things for us, but it will also guarantee the end of marijuana prohibition. 

  • Election day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
  • The deadline for registering by mail to vote is (postmarked by) Monday, October 5, 2020.
  • Deadline to register in-person to vote is Monday, October 5, 2020.
  • The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Friday, October 23, 2020.
  • Early voting period runs from Tuesday, October 13, 2020, to Friday, October 30, 2020.

The Republicans are desperately trying to cheat because they know they are losing. We all have to turn out and vote as if everything in our lives depended on it because it does.  

When you go to the polls, remember to vote for Democrats all the way down-ballot. The further down-ballot you vote, the bigger impact it will make on your everyday life.

Make sure you’re registered to vote! Don’t forget!

Are you registered to vote? Not sure, find out HERE!

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Native Texan, Mom, Writer, Liberal.
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