An issue that’s become part of national political discourse recently is cannabis legalization. Ever since California allowed medical marijuana in 1996 and Colorado lead the recreational movement by becoming the first state to legalize recreational cannabis during the aftermath of the 2012 election, other states have followed suit, in either medical or fully recreational capacities. Even though Republican-led states anecdotally are not cannabis-friendly, certain GOP governors such as Ohio’s John Kasich and Florida’s Rick Scott have implemented medical marijuana programs.
Legalization, or at least more relaxed cannabis laws, keep low-level and non-violent “offenders” out of jail; on the financial side, Nevada made $3.68 million in tax revenue within the first month of recreational legalization and Colorado passed $500 million in retail sales as of last July.
As for the largest GOP-led state, Texas has found itself in a rather peculiar situation. Although Republican governor Greg Abbott is notoriously anti-marijuana to the point where he’s stated that “marijuana will never be legal while I’m in office”, he recently started the Texas Compassionate Use Act which allows low-THC cannabis oil to be prescribed to intractable epilepsy patients. Additionally, the four largest cities in Texas have Democratic mayors who have implemented some sort of decriminalization program.
Starting on the very first day in December 2017, Dallas implemented a “catch and release” program, where those caught with cannabis within Dallas County will receive a court summons in lieu of jail time. While it’s not full