AUSTIN (KXAN) — Throughout his reelection marketing campaign, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has struck a average tone in the case of marijuana.
When requested about hashish reform throughout a campaign event last week, Abbott as soon as once more laid out the argument that prisons and jails are locations “for harmful criminals who might hurt others.”
“Small possession of marijuana is just not the kind of violation that we need to stockpile jails with,” the governor mentioned.
His remarks come as opinions on the matter start to alter throughout the state. A University of Texas at Austin and Texas Tribune poll final June confirmed 60% of Texas voters say they help the leisure use of marijuana.
Abbott has signaled he’s open to the concept of decriminalization. It’s been a special story for Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.
“The Lt. Governor has made it fairly explicitly clear that he’s not on board for lessening the state’s drug legal guidelines round marijuana,” mentioned Joshua Clean with UT Austin’s Texas Politics Mission. “However I feel like every other public determine, if strain continues to mount, particularly inside his personal celebration, there’s no purpose he can’t change his thoughts.”
KXAN spoke with Rep. Joe Moody (D) who represents El Paso in Austin. Moody has authored laws tackling hashish reform, although his payments haven’t made it out of Patrick’s senate.
Nonetheless, Moody stays hopeful.
“There’s this entrenched mentality, it was this manner on either side of the aisle, that perhaps we simply need to be powerful on crime,” Moody mentioned. “Each events have began to depart from that philosophy, some faster than others, however I feel we’re getting to a degree the place we will have a consensus on that.”
Samantha Benavides with the group Mano Amigo is at present gathering signatures to try to get marijuana decriminalized on the native degree in San Marcos. She instructed KXAN the state’s present hashish legal guidelines are leaving cash on the desk.
“We’ve individuals in Colorado, for instance, and different states the place (marijuana is) authorized constructing these multimillion-dollar companies,” she mentioned.
Clean mentioned cash may very well be what finally ideas the dimensions on the Texas capitol, even when Republicans preserve energy within the years to come back.
“I feel the state is, you understand, a big one which faces quite a few fiscal challenges, that are Texas dimension normally,” he mentioned. “Different states are producing income by means of the legalization and tax and marijuana. There’s no purpose to assume that Texas isn’t additionally going to think about some scheme like that.”