Could Texas be the next state to legalize marijuana?

Advocates looking forward in Texas

SAN ANTONIO -- One of the few issues voters seem to agree on nation-wide is the legalization of marijuana. Advocates hope that the wave of change soon makes its way to Texas.

Organizers are hoping that legislation makes it to state leaders in the next few weeks.

The number of states with legal marijuana tripled on Election Day with more than half of the country now allowing for at least the medical use of the drug.

“We even saw states in the south legalize,” Luis Nakamoto said. “Now that we have support from other states in the south, Arkansas and Florida and eight other states decriminalizing it, it kind of shifts that stereotype.”

The movement is pushing ahead, with the Marijuana Policy Project working on a new bill in Texas. The current law allows people with intractable epilepsy to receive low amounts of THC.

“We want to see that program be made more inclusive for patients suffering from cancer, going through chemo, veterans suffering from PTSD,” said Heather Fazio of the Marijuana Police Project.

Political science professor John Hermann says the road ahead could get tricky because of conflicting state and federal laws, not to mention the direction dictated by President-elect Donald Trump.

“President-elect Trump could rescind and say that states can’t [pass their own laws],” he said.

As for Texas, the wave of change would have to overcome a stable pattern of attempts being struck down.

“We are border states,” Professor Hermann said. “There are illegal drugs. We have some of the toughest laws on criminalization of a controlled substance.”

(© 2016 KENS)


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