Texas: GOP Adopts Marijuana Reforms To Party’s Platform

San Antonio, TX: Delegates for the Texas Republican Party have adopted a series of legislative priorities specific to reforming marijuana policies. Delegates voted overwhelmingly to approve the new policy positions at the party’s annual convention.

Specifically, the Party acknowledged support for changing state law so that marijuana possession is treated as a civil rather than as a criminal offense.

Under state law, minor marijuana possession violations are classified as criminal misdemeanor offenses, punishable by up to 180 days incarceration and a criminal record. According to 2016 data, police in Texas made nearly 65,000 marijuana-related arrests – the highest total of any state in the nation. Ninety-eight percent of those arrested were charged with marijuana possession.

Delegates also adopted a plank to the Party’s platform recognizing industrial hemp as a “valuable agricultural commodity” and encouraging lawmakers in 2019 to pass legislation permitting its cultivation and sale. They also called for an expansion of the state’s limited CBD exemption law, and expressed support for the federal rescheduling of cannabis.

For more information, contact Texas NORML Executive Director Jax Finkel at jax@texasnorml.org.