WACO, Texas — Ahead of a busy legislative session with several cannabis reform bills, a new survey found that 1-in-5 Texans are more relaxed toward the use of recreational marijuana.
Recovery.org conducted a poll of 3,000 Texans where 20 percent of those respondents said they are more relaxed about using cannabis recreationally after they experienced a year of lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Due to the months we have spent indoors, many of us are able to relate to new habits brought on by loneliness or stress," Recovery.org said. "For some, it has been eating more or drinking more alcohol, and others have begun trying out substances such as marijuana."
The survey also found that nearly half (49%) of respondents say they also empathize more with those who turned to substances like cannabis for relief of stress caused by the pandemic.
In the state of Texas, cannabis reform is a hot topic for the legislature this session. The Texas House has a few bills that focuses on decriminalizing marijuana and expanding medical marijuana coverage.
HB 99 and HB 2593 would make having two ounces or less of marijuana a class C misdemeanor while HB 441 would make having one ounce or less a class C misdemeanor, prevent a criminal record and loss of driver's license, as well as impose a fee of no more than $500. (Class C misdemeanors do not require jailtime.)
HB 1535 would expand to those who could qualify for medical marijuana to include people suffering from cancer, acute and chronic pain, veterans with PTSD and other "debilitating" medical conditions defined by the state. The bill would also create a research program to learn more about medical cannabis, as well as increase the THC limit in products from .5% to 5% by weight.
(HB 441, 1535 and 2593 are currently headed to the Calendars Committee to await scheduling to be heard by the full House, according to Texas NORML, or the Austin-based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws that focuses on cannabis reform.