As the push to legalize recreational marijuana buds across the nation, the candidates for Texas House District 55 represent varying shades of positions on the issue.
Since 2015, opposition to legal marijuana has dropped in the Lone Star State, according to a February 2017 poll conducted by the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Tribune.
Overall the poll showed 83 percent of Texans supported legalizing marijuana for some use at the time. That figure is composed of 30 percent of Texans who say marijuana should be medical-use only, small amounts only and any amount.
The poll, which interviewed 1,200 Texans, found 17 percent of Texans said no amount should be legal for any use.
Two candidates, including incumbent Hugh Shine, for Texas House District 55 say they are opposed to efforts to legalize recreational use of marijuana in the state. Another supports decriminalization and advocates its use for medicinal reasons.
Shine, a Temple Republican running for re-election, is against legalizing marijuana “across the board.”
The lawmaker cited his nearly two decades in the National Guard working with Texas law enforcement to eradicate drug and sex trafficking in the state as to why he will not support any legislation legalizing the drug.
Shine said he saw the effects the drug trade had on young girls who had become addicted. The children, he said, often turned to prostitution to support their drug habit.