Texas GOP Convention: Republicans in favor of marijuana decriminalization

Cannabis policies to be part of GOP platform in next legislative session

SAN ANTONIO – The 2018 Texas Republican Convention wrapped up over the weekend in San Antonio, and delegates voted on over 300 proposed platform planks for the upcoming legislative session in January 2019.

For the first time ever, Republicans in the Lone Star State were in favor of its elected officials taking up issues surrounding marijuana legislation -- not only expanding the current Texas Compassionate Use Act but also decriminalizing marijuana, making industrial hemp a agricultural commodity and calling for Congress to remove cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug.

RELATED: What is Texas' existing medical marijuana law?

"Texas Republicans, like the majority of Americans, are ready to see more sensible marijuana policies enacted," said Heather Fazio, coalition coordinator for Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy. "Our state wastes valuable criminal justice resources arresting between 60,000-70,000 Texans annually. Delegates took a stand this week for a better approach."

According to the Texas Tribune, the plank that was voted on read, “We support a change in the law to make it a civil, and not a criminal, offense for legal adults only to possess one ounce or less of marijuana for personal use, punishable by a fine of up to $100, but without jail time. "

With the current Texas Compassionate Use Act, only patients with intractable epilepsy can get medical cannabis. Expanding this law would allow doctors to give more patients with other ailments the opportunity to get oils sold at three Texas dispensaries. 

RELATED: Go inside one of the first medical cannabis dispensaries in Texas

The 86th legislative session will begin Jan. 8, 2019.

Plank-by-plank vote results are in! See www.texasgop.org/delegates

Posted by Republican Party of Texas on Sunday, June 17, 2018

About the Author:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.