Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office staff can expect to hear a lot about marijuana over the next few weeks.
Advocates for broadly legalizing marijuana in Texas for medical purposes, and for decriminalizing low-volume possession of all pot, have begun exhorting supporters to email or call the governor’s office. Their goal — which they acknowledge having only a slim chance of achieving — is to convince Abbott to add the issues to the agenda for the ongoing 30-day special session of the state Legislature, which will end by Aug. 16.
The governor sets the agendas for special legislative sessions, so Abbott’s acquiescence is the only way any of three new marijuana-related bills can be taken up by state lawmakers during the current session.
“We’re trying to mobilize and call on the governor to add this to the special session,” said Heather Fazio, Texas political director for the Marijuana Policy Project, a national nonprofit focused on reforming marijuana laws. “It’s too important not to use every opportunity we have.”
But Fazio also described the effort as “a long shot,” saying Abbott “doesn’t see it as a priority.”
A spokesman for Abbott didn’t respond to requests for comment Friday.
In 2015, Abbott signed into law what is know as the Compassionate Use Act, legalizing oils made from cannabidiol as a medical treatment — but only for certain patients suffering from a rare form of epilepsy. Cannabidiol, commonly called CBD, is derived from cannabis plants but doesn’t produce euphoria or a high.