The Texas GOP should claim a crown policy jewel of its rivals — marijuana legalization.
Yes, Texas is hippie-hater land and the Texas GOP opposes legalizing “illicit and synthetic drugs.” But the Texas Republican Party is loosening up on the issue. In June, delegates said they wanted to move to decriminalize, to allow medical marijuana, and even to reclassify marijuana on the Controlled Substances Act.
Supporting marijuana policy change would be commercially and politically wise. Marijuana is a lucrative business and will never again be nationally illegal. Nationally, Republicans support the issue more and more. Texas as both a party stronghold and a business leader should take the challenge.
The hemp-spun noose is tightening. Marijuana has never been a more popular policy platform, as the Los Angeles Times recently noted.
A June 20 poll from Center for American Progress found 7 in 10 Americans support legalization, including 57 percent of Republicans. Our neighbor and fellow red state Oklahoma allowed medical pot in June, making it the 31st U.S. state with either medical or recreational marijuana. Canada fully legalized a national recreational marijuana industry to begin Oct. 17, 2018. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a marijuana-derived drug, Epidiolex, for human use.
National leaders see this trend. Congress is littered with legalization bills, including two this summer from Sens. Cory Gardner, D-N.J. and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. President Donald Trump, in the middle of his 88 percent Republican Party approval rating, said he’d probably support Schumer’s bill.
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