There have been many developments relating to marijuana laws in the last few years. There have been so many that it seems hard to keep track of all of them.
For example, did you know that Texas politicians are considering decriminalizing marijuana in certain instances? In 2018, delegates of the Texas Republican Party voted for various planks in their political platform. One proposed plank was a measure that would fine people $100.00 or less if they possessed marijuana but not jail them for this possession.
Other planks proposed making certain forms of medical marijuana extracts more available in the state, while another called for the U.S. Congress to remove marijuana from Schedule I, a list of the most prohibited drugs. Still another plank praised industrial hemp, calling it “a valuable agricultural commodity.”
These developments might seem surprising at first. After all, medical marijuana and recreational marijuana are not legal in Texas, although some low-THC medical marijuana extracts are. THC is the compound in marijuana that can alter the mind.
Texas is also a more politically conservative red state and Republicans are generally more politically conservative. A delegation of Texas Republicans voting in favor of a drug that is still illegal on the federal level might seem a little surprising at first.
But, is it really surprising? A number of U.S. states – more than half, in fact – have legalized medical marijuana, and a handful have legalized it for recreational use. Movements in other states are trying to legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use.
This view appears to be a global view. In the country of Portugal, the federal government has decriminalized certain amounts of marijuana and other drugs. If authorities find that people have these drugs, they will not punish them but possibly help them find treatment.
The Texas delegates, then, are acting similarly to authorities in other U.S. states and other countries. Their views reflect changing perspectives about marijuana and the people who use it.