Texas Democratic Party Endorses Marijuana Decriminalization

From Thursday, June 7th through Saturday, June 9th, the Texas Democratic Party held their state convention in Houston, Texas. Along side other election related business such as selecting delegates, they also voted on their party platform for 2012. One of the issues added this year was support for marijuana decriminalization. Below you can read the official language:

Decriminalization of Marijuana

This decriminalization of marijuana does not mean we endorse the use of marijuana but it is only a call to wiser use of law enforcement and public health policy. Prohibition of marijuana abdicates the control of marijuana production and distribution to drug cartels and street gangs. Such prohibition promotes disrespect for the law and reinforces ethnic and generational divides between the public and law enforcement.

Every year, hundreds and thousands of Americans are arrested for marijuana possession violations- far more than all those arrested for violent crimes in America. Societal costs dealing with the war on drugs concerning marijuana exceeds 12 billion dollars annually. Since the war on drugs began, 85% of the arrests for marijuana have been for possession only.

Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Recent polls show over 50% of Americans believe marijuana should be decriminalized. While arrests for marijuana since 1965 have been over 20 million citizens, marijuana is more prevalent than ever before.

There is no evidence that marijuana is a “gateway” drug leading to the use of more lethal drugs. 75% of citizens arrested for marijuana are under 30. Minorities account for a majority of those arrested for marijuana. Criminal conviction permanently scars a young citizen for life.

Texas Democrats urge the President, the Attorney General and the Congress to support the passage of legislation to decriminalize the possession of marijuana and regulate its use, production and sale as is done with tobacco and alcohol.

We further urge the immediate decriminalization of the possession and use of medical marijuana.

Source: Texas Democratic Party 2012 Platform

The Texas Democrats now join the growing list of state political parties throwing their support behind marijuana law reform. Earlier this year, the Colorado Democratic Party added marijuana legalization as a plank to their party’s platform and announced support for their state’s legalization ballot initiative, Amendment 64. 56% of Denver Country Republican Assembly also voted in favor of supporting this initiative. The state democratic party in Washington endorsed their legalization initiative, I-502, in late 2011.

While the federal government may continue to ignore the will of the people on the marijuana issue, it is comforting to see state level politicians supporting the interests and desires of their constituencies. Considering that pro-reform candidates are winning elections in multiple states, respected party members such as Governor Cuomo (D-NY) and Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D-Chicago) are endorsing decriminalization, and the continuous flow of marijuana law reform being approved at the state level, one has to wonder just how much longer the federal government and current presidential contenders can ignore the giant green elephant in the room.

102 thoughts

  1. This endorsement would help vote out some unchallenged Republican Congressmen who voted NO on the Rohrabacher of California Amendment. It would also provide some competition among Democrats.

    I’m an Independent that likes to read Ron Paul’s books.

  2. “Remember the Rohrbacher-Hinchey Amendment!”

    Clean the House. Get rid of the 212 Republicans and the 50 Democrats that had voted NO. Save the United States. End the Fed.

    I’m still an Independent that likes to read books by Ron Paul.

  3. I DONT BELIEVE IT I DONT BELIEVE IT I AM FROM TEXAS I AM SO EXCITED THAT I POO IN MY PANTS (I am 55 years old and I really dint believe I every see this in Texas )

  4. wow, to be honest, i never saw this coming. seems to me southerners are too drunk and bible bashing to have common sense.

    this coming from a michigander living in north carolina.

    hopefully i will be proven wrong…

  5. Don’t forget the media!!!!! They are also ignoring this issue. This is true of the many news channels refusing to air anything to do with the legalization issue; pretending it is not even happening. It is also true of social media like Twitter that refuse to post or even acknowledge the 9/9 time #1 question being when can we discuss legalization. Those jackasses even went so far as to ignore the #1 question and raise #2 to #1.

  6. Little by little, brick by brick, the wall called prohibition is starting to crumble. The prez and his challenger won’t stand on this issue because they are too afraid but it doesn’t matter. The death, destruction and lies of the great deception also known as prohibition is on its last legs. Never underestimate the resolve of the American people, we are smarter than you think and the numbers that want their freedom back are quickly eclipsing the ones who don’t. Our day is coming, we can’t all show our faces because we have kids to feed and mortgage payments to make but best believe come November our voices will be heard! End cannabis prohibition now!

  7. This is another wave of common sense politics adding to the coming tsunami of change that will soon wash away cannabis prohibition.
    Still, why is it so difficult to recognize and declare that marijuana is actually much less harmful, not merely “no more dangerous” than alcohol and tobacco? To me, such statements continue to support a cultural denial of how harmful alcohol and tobacco clearly are.

  8. I saw this on my Facebook feed, and immediately posted it to my wall… I am from Texas, currently live in Texas, and never thought I’d see a waiver like this in Texas. I am very excited to see this grow and mature into real action instead of talk. I’ve been telling everyone for years, that if Texas ever goes the route of legalization of MJ it would be because of federal law first v.s. the state law first.

    I’d like to state that I do not believe that decriminalization really helps the situation (over all in america) simply because it just makes it easier for cartels/gangs to operate their drug dealing. Prohibition is just not the way to go no matter how little the fine is.

    With that being said, it’s a very slight stepping stone in the right direction, as long as things are continuing to move forward for legalization, regulation, and taxation. (Just like tobacco and alcohol) It would actually help Texas tremendously in fighting drug traffic via the boarder.

    All in all I hope that this sparks progression in my home state of Texas.

  9. This is stunning. I didn’t expect anything of the sort until 2016.

    The official language of the platform is stunningly lucid. My only beef with it is the comparison with dangers from the use of the physically addicting, self-destructive drugs alcohol and caffeine.

    Maybe I’ll vote Democratic this year after all.

  10. Like many of you I am a profession, husband and father. Very glad to see I can someday (In the near future) be able to look my child in the eye and not feel like a criminal, or simply a bad parent because my “only” substance of choice is responsible recreational use of marijuana.

    My only concern is the non-sensible term “decriminalization”. Basically they’re stating that marijuana is still a crime. Albeit we have to continue to take “baby steps” to put an end to prohibition.

    Simply put my only votes will go to candidates who are 100% on our side of the fence.

  11. Remember how easy going Obama was before he was elected. Maybe the democrats realize they can lie about this and then go back on what they promised once elected (because marijuana voters will not cause any trouble). I hope not

  12. Fu k off matteroflib, bet you wont come down to the South and say that lmao I guarantee you Texas is far more advanced then whatever butt fu k egypt town you’re from! Annnnnd we have better dank then you! Ahahahahahaha

  13. The number of people that support the drug war are changing there address toc cemmatarys al over the country we will prevail the lies will end

  14. Texas is a big deal. The next step is when Texas legalized medical marijuana. The two largest of the contiguous United States definitely says hands off to the feds. If you can get Texas to go, you may have less of a slog on the neighboring states. On the other side of the coin, we may see states that border on Texas going in favor of MMJ before Texas, in turn applying ever so much more pressure on Texas.

    I’m looking at being suckered into voting for Obama on this single issue. Romney’s got Bain which is indeed his bane.

    If Romney is elected, the same course is called for. If Romney is elected, keep running the economy into the ground until cannabis is legalized. Romney is not creative and he’s got no connection with the creators of new products, and he’s got no plan to trod them out to make jobs for the everyone here in the U.S. It’ll take more capital than he himself has to get the economy engined up.

    Just hold back on that investment and private stimulus money until cannabis is legal, Obama or Romney.

  15. This dont mean shit! Talk is cheap. One fucking redneck state’s democratic party calling for decriminalization is A LONG WAY OFF FROM FULL OUT RELEGALIZATION.

  16. Hayleylujah!

    I didn’t see this coming to Texas *quite this soon*, But I guees it shouldn’t be a big surprise – what with Legislation by Governor Chafee in Rhode Island, a decrim-proposal by Governor Andrew Cuomo in NY, & decrim-talk by Rahm Emanuel in Chicago, more legislation in Hew Hampshire that very well may overide a threatened veto by Gov Lynch.

    The election of Ellen Rosenblum – as Oregon’s new Attorney General, and the Dem. Primary win by (soon-to-be Representative) Robert “Beto” O’Rourke here in Texas…
    Along with ballot measures/initiatives in Detroit, Michigan & North Dakota, also Colorado (Amendment 64) and Washington state will hold fall referendums on legalizing marijuana.
    Plus, news that Washington D.C. looks to have four medical marijuana dispensaries opening in the near future…

    This is amazing = I kept wondering when the Fiscal situation, Pragmatic-Reasonable thinking, & some form of = Hey, Nanny-Staters, “Don’t Mess with Texas!” would finally surface? This could be it…

  17. I am slowly coming to the conclusion that we should all start voting for Democrats – period – unless a Republican candidate for whatever office makes it clear that they will support ending prohibition! I have been planning to vote for Gary Johnson but now believe that any vote that is not for Obama is a vote for that nightmarish entity known as Romney… People – we cannot let Romney win!!! I know, and believe me I’m pissed off about it, that Obama has let us all down big time, but Romney would be much worse!

    I am happy to learn that TX Democrats are coming to their senses 🙂 Now, I can only hope to hear some positive news here in the big tobacco land of VA…

  18. At any rate, it’s looking like we’re reaching a real tipping point concerning mj legalization. When Russians started rising up against communism, it only took R.Reagan’s utterance, “tear down that wall” for citizens to start literally crumbling down the wall. And we live in a supposedly FREE country, so how much harder can this be?

  19. Don’t get too excited,,Tx is historically Republican’t,,,but,,with our state legislature arguing on which prisons to close because of funding,,it could cause a lot of ‘R’ to vote ‘D’…

  20. all just words, ain’t no action. the politicos just tell you what they think you want to hear to get your vote. after they get your vote, it’s fuc* you i do what I want, and i ain’t for no damn legalization. we voted to legalize med pot in cali. and 17 yrs later we’re still having to fight like dogs for our rights. why? cuz of all the LITTLE POLITICOS who know better than the people who elected them and hot damn they’re going to save us from ourselfs,even if it kills us.

  21. I guess that’s nice until you consider how Democrats are represented in Texas’ congress.

  22. Hooray for AMERICANS. I don’t consider our congress to be Americans, rather corporations. Lets get our country back to working for us! Im still voting for my Dog for president, my dog is loyal and would never bite me. I cant trust anyone else.

  23. The thing that will help get the cartels out of the picture is permission for individuals to also grow 20 plants in their home so they don’t have to got to the dealers to get their smoke. Also time to put forth plenty of new information campaigns about the truth of MJ being less harmful than the govt has previously advertised.

  24. Decriminalizing possession will help tremendously, but will still leave the door open for the drug cartels and other unsavory dealers to profit from, and still have a stake in, the MJ use. Legalizing the growing of 10 or 20 plants for individuals in the home is what will put the hurt on the cartels.

  25. Fantastic! It seems as though a lot of state democratic parties are coming around – I wonder if there is some mandate behind the scenes to drive the ballot question appearing this year?!?

    In any case its good news. I think everything they had to say rings true – thats 12 billion toward paying off national debt, not to mention what they would reap in taxes.

    I hope the federal gov moves to legalize its a common sense smart move for the people and for the national budget.

  26. Reminded me of

    “So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.”
    ? Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream very poetic ending wonderful article

  27. I’ve been to 3 state conventions in Texas as a Democratic delegate. This is not that unusual, there are many liberal thinking stances by the party. Get involved in your state and you can make a difference.

  28. Yes! This is a good start for TX Dems. I invite them to google ‘Talking Points for the Peloton’. There they can learn how to help TX farmers even more by demanding this simple definition of marijuana which actually shows respect for our Constitution.

    16. The term ‘marijuana’ means all parts
    of the smoke produced by the combustion
    of the plant Cannabis sativa L.

  29. As prohibition fails and the democrats and the republicans do nothing but try to put those “bricks” back together with broken mortar….tell me a reason why I shouldnt vote for Gary Johnson…he may not win but it shows Im not willing to vote for the lesser of two evils either…

  30. To Jordan:

    Decriminalizing cannabis would not make it easier for cartels/gangs to operate their drug dealing. They would be put out of business overnight, literally! Look at Al Capone. He was an “alcohol dealer” when alcohol was illegal. Do you see any alcohol dealers standing on the street corner slangin’ shots of whisky? Of course not. If you can buy something at a store then “dealers” would never be able to compete. The only reason people tolerate “dealers” is because it’s their only option.

  31. Interesting article, until I got to the part about highly respected Governor Cuomo and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. That rediculous statement negates any credability that the author might have had.

  32. Texas, Wow! Reschedule marijuana on a federal level and be done with all the small talk, the big green elephant has spoken, come on government you need our votes!

  33. OMG!!! Such exciting and wonderful news! I’m a Texan and a voter. never saw this coming. 🙂

  34. Now if we can get the rest of the bible belt to follow suit. Go job N.C. for decriminalization in your state.

  35. If u live in Texas u have to vote strait ticket for ( DEM ) If u are not register to vote go now and register to vote. Make the media talk about this.

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