Compared to many other US states, Texas has been far from lenient when it comes to prosecuting recreational and medical marijuana users. Still, slowly but surely, a growing cannabis movement is sweeping across The Lone Star State. This has led a number of Texas counties to dismiss a wide range of pot-related cases, while new legislation for decriminalization and a more comprehensive medical system has recently been introduced.
Now, multiple bills calling for marijuana reform are sitting before the 85th Texas Legislature in the city of Austin, bringing the state closer to cannabis legalization than ever before. This push for legalization has been spearheaded by two local cannabis activism organizations, NORML of Waco and CenTex Community Outreach.
Both groups have called on supporters in the state to pressure their legislatures to pass marijuana reform for recreational marijuana, or at the very least, a more comprehensive medical system. As of now, Texas has a medical cannabis system that only allows patients to consume marijuana-based products with low-amounts of THC, greatly limiting the amount of conditions that can be treated effectively. Back in November, two joint measures were filed that would allow voters to decide on legalizing a recreational or medical cannabis program.
The two statewide pro-cannabis groups have been relentless in their push for legalization, sponsoring advocacy training programs to educate activists on how to write their own testimony, contact representatives and legislators, and advocate efficiently.
Although NORML of Waco and CenTex Community Outreach are certainly helping to spread the gospel of green throughout Texas, there is still much work to be done convincing the average Texan. According to a Lyceum poll from 2015, around 50 percent of the state remains opposed cannabis legalization.
The next step for these pro-cannabis organizations is to convince the state legislature to pass one of the bills before the session officially ends on May 29.