Will Texas legalize marijuana in 2020?
Even before this snafu of legalizing hemp, and inadvertantly cannabis arose, bringing about the “cite and release” memorandum, the state had an uneven patchwork of marijuana enforcement policies. “How harshly you’re punished for pot possession depends on where you’re caught, even more so now,” writes the Texas Observer.
Advocates for legalizing the recreational use of marijuana hope that DAs in the state decide to go ahead of the legislature and stop prosecuting for possession indefinitely.
Legal marijuana in Texas isn’t just a pipe dream. The University of Texas and the Texas Tribune published a poll in the summer of 2018 that showed a majority of Texas voters support full legalization. And efforts are underway to develop such legislation.
Heather Fazio, director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy told the Observer, “This all just reaffirms what a growing number of Texans already realize. Prosecuting people for low-level marijuana isn’t a good use of resources. Nor is it worth the devastating human consequences that come with a drug conviction.”
In an article for the Cato Institute, the authors point out that “if the directives issued by the TDCAA and TDPS become the new standard, Texas could see a huge decline in arrests and prosecutions. This will generate budgetary savings and facilitate re-allocation of law enforcement and judicial resources to more pressing issues.” They go on to state, that it would be “a shame” if the bill is repealed. “Even though this de facto decriminalization was an accident,” they say, “it was a good one.”