Do Texans Want Medical Marijuana Legalized?

In Austin, the 88th Texas Legislative Session is now in session. Medical marijuana may or may not be a topic of discussion.

Sid Miller, the Texas Agricultural Commissioner, has been outspoken in support of medicinal marijuana even though neither the governor, lieutenant governor, nor speaker have made a public statement on the subject.

What Voters Want?

What about the voters, though? Do Texans want their government to legalize medicinal marijuana? The Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston’s most recent survey, which was released this week, found that the response is largely “yes.”

The Dallas Morning News reports that 82% of Texans are in favor of the state’s politicians approving legislation allowing the use of marijuana for a “broad variety” of medical conditions. 

Expand Access

The Governor and legislature are now moving to expand access to medical marijuana for certain categories. However, supporters want more. The Dallas Morning News claims that medical marijuana is supported by all Texans.

Although I don’t think the Texas Legislature will authorize medicinal marijuana, I do believe that public opinion will influence politicians to take it into consideration in the future. This session, the governor is expected to increase access once again, but not for everyone.

Other Reports, Survey Shows

According to a University of Houston research, the majority of Texans support the state’s legalization of marijuana.

Out of 1,200 respondents, 67% supported full legalization, including the majority of men, women, Democrats, Republicans, and people of all racial and cultural backgrounds.

However, according to Dr. Mark Jones of the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston, that won’t happen in 2023.

According to 40% of Texans, there would be a rise in underage marijuana usage if the drug were legalized, Jones said. “That goes up to 50% of Republicans, which is one reason we won’t see statewide legalization in Texas anytime soon,” said the author.

With 82% of respondents questioned stating they would be in favor of making marijuana legal for therapeutic purposes, support was even higher among Texans who only support medical marijuana.

Jones said that any adjustments to the law governing the use of medicinal marijuana would probably be minor ones.

According to Jones, who noted that Republicans are more inclined to support legislation that benefits veterans, “what we may see is a more narrowly-tailored medical marijuana measure that focuses on conditions that veterans suffer from.”