A strong majority of Texans want to use legal weed tax revenue to provide a much-needed boost to the state's educational system, according to a new poll.
Last October, the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation asked 1,034 Texans to share their feelings about the current state of Texas' K-12 public education system. According to this new poll, 57 percent of respondents believe their local schools are under-funded, and 66 percent of parents are concerned that future state funding cuts will impact the quality of their children's schools.
The survey also asked the respondents to rate 11 different proposals to generate more revenue for schools by raising specific state taxes. The prospect of raising state sales taxes, fuel taxes, or taxes on car sales and rentals was not a very popular solution, only appealing to around 20 percent of respondents. Raising taxes on corporations or creating a new tax on sugary drinks proved more popular, gaining support from around half of all respondents.
As a whole, Texans were far more amenable to the idea of using “sin taxes” on booze, weed, or gambling to help fund schools. Nearly three-quarters of parents said they were down with creating a new tax on vaping devices or raising taxes on tobacco products, and 64 percent said they would support higher alcohol taxes.
Another 64 percent of respondents said that they believed the Lone Star State should legalize adult-use weed and use pot tax revenue to fund schools, and a similar percentage also support legalizing and taxing casino gambling.
Broken down by political party, about three-quarters of Democrats and liberals said they were down with legalizing adult-use pot, compared to 66 percent of moderates and around half of Republicans and conservatives.
“These new poll results reaffirm what many of us have known for some time: Texans are ready for marijuana legalization,” said Heather Fazio, director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, to Marijuana Moment. “As we move forward, it’s important to balance our desire to generate revenue with our desire to stamp out the underground market. Sensible regulation and reasonable tax rates will give us our best shot at bringing the market for cannabis into the light of day, protecting consumers and disempowering cartels.”
Several other recent polls have found that the vast majority of Americans are ready to see weed prohibition come to an end. From 2018 to 2019, major national polls reported that 67 percent of Americans supported legal weed, and that percentage grew to 70 percent last year. Another recent poll also found that 70 percent of the US deems smoking pot to be morally acceptable.
Unfortunately, Texas is far behind the rest of the country when it comes to cannabis reform. The state has one of the country's most restrictive medical marijuana programs, only allowing cannabis extracts with a maximum of 0.5 percent THC content. A few local cities have made attempts at small-scale decriminalization, but as a whole, Texas still tops the list of the least weed-friendly US states.