Will Texas Republicans Lead the Charge for Normalization of Pot Laws?

posted by 1200 WOAI -

There are more signs that the Republican Party’s long-held stance against marijuana reform is softening, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.

Members of the Texas GOP are meeting in San Antonio this week for their annual convention. A major part is forming the party platform, and the issue of marijuana reform is trending.

Heather Fazio with Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, who is at the convention, says this is a savvy move by the party.

"Allowing Democrats to own this issue is not smart from a campaign perspective and, when it comes to good government policy, reforming marijuana laws is the way to go," she explains.

She says the main points brought up in San Antonio have been an expansion of the state's medical marijuana policy and thedecriminalization of small amounts of weed, so being caught with a joint would not carry criminal sanction that can last a lifetime.

"Last legislative session, we saw more than half of the Texas House sign on to a medical marijuana bill," she says.

In Texas, medical marijuana is restricted to a small subset of epilepsy patients, who can be treated with low-THC oil.

The debate here comes as national lawmakers also grapple with marijuana reform.  The newly-proposed STATES act would conform federal marijuana law in each state to whatever that state’s law permits.

 In states where marijuana is still illegal, federal law would also apply.

Earlier, President Donald Trump chimed in, while speaking to reporters before the Group of 7 summit in Canada.  He said he was inclined to support the bill, sponsored by Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo.

"I support Senator Gardner. I know exactly what he's doing," Trump said. "We're looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes."

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