Last weekend the Republican Party of Texas held its state convention in Dallas where GOP delegates met to confirm the party's position on major political issues. One of these issues was that of medical marijuana within the state, and while the GOP didn’t decide that Texas should implement an MMJ program á la California, it did make a statement.
Of all delegates, 78% voted to support the following new official stance of the Texas GOP: “We call up on the Texas Legislature to improve the 2015 Compassionate Use Act to allow doctors to determine the appropriate use of cannabis to prescribed patients.”
Not exactly groundbreaking, but definitely promising. This acknowledgement that Texas’s current extremely limited MMJ laws need improvement further confirms what we’ve seen in recent years: marijuana reform is no longer a partisan issue.
The new policy, while not immediately enacting more reform, is definitely reason to be hopeful, according to Heather Fazio, Texas Political Director for the Marijuana Policy Project.
“Across the board, Texans of all political persuasions acknowledge that cannabis is medicine and support the reforming of outdated policies," she said. "For those legislators who were concerned about conservatives not supporting medical marijuana, now they don’t have to worry about it.”
While one does not at first think of the South when it comes to marijuana reform, Ohio, Alabama, and Louisiana have all passed medical marijuana legislation over the past month to allow use of CBD oil for epilepsy and other specified conditions — similar bills to the one Texas passed with last year’s Compassionate Use Act. Color me pleasantly surprised, but Texas seems to be asserting itself as one the most progressive Southern states when it comes to marijuana reform.