SocraticGadfly: More pressure on Texas to loosen pot rules

April 05, 2021

More pressure on Texas to loosen pot rules

Unfortunately, due to the hidebound rules of a banana republic every-other-year Texas Legislature regular session, loosening of Texas' rules on legalized marijuana ain't gonna happen this year, unless Abbott includes it in the call for the redistricting special session.

But, the pressure is increasing.

I noted two weeks ago (and haven't checked the bill's status, but here's a bill-tracker site) that Oklahoma was considering expanding application for its wink-wink, nudge-nudge medical marijuana program to residents of all 50 states. This would seemingly be targeted most at Texas. 

And, no status check needed on this one.

Last week, in a special session, the NM Legislature approved full recreational marijuana. It's not a huge bill; it's not Colorado. Possession amount is 2 ounces plus growing for up to six plants, so essentially, it's full decriminalization of non-felony marijuana. And, per Cliff Pirtle of Roswell, had the NM Lege taken more time, it probably could have done better. But, nonetheless, this is a game changer. Former Gov. and Libertarian prez candidate Gary Johnson, who pushed for this 20-plus years ago, salutes the change.
(Update, April 12: It's now signed into law. Also, the bill automatically expunges old pot-related criminal records. )

Seriously, think about it. If roughnecks from the oil patch in Odessa, Andrews, etc., drive 62/180 to Hobbs to buy a bag, is DPS really going to waste time and money with entrapment efforts for speeding etc. on the state line?

(Update, April 19: Pew Research says we all want pot. It says 91 percent of Americans want either medical or recreational legalization and 60 percent want full legal recreational marijuana.)

In other neighboring areas, Louisiana has fairly liberal laws on medical marijuana, with the caveat it's for non-smokeable versions of pot only, and the second caveat that you can't take it in public.  Arkansas has kind of strict, but not too much, medical marijuana laws, but weed as well as edibles are allowed.

(Update, April 21: Virginia is now the first Southern state with recreational legalization, perhaps further increasing the pressure. It's a highly stringent legalization, though, if you look at the details.)

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