As a record number of cannabis reform bills have been filed this session in Texas, a recent article in the Texas Tribune suggests that Lt. Governor Dan Patrick my still be the roadblock to any meaningful reform. The article contained a quote from Patrick spokesperson Alejandro Garcia which said the lieutenant governor is “strongly opposed to weakening any laws against marijuana [and] remains wary of the various medicinal use proposals that could become a vehicle for expanding access to this drug.”
The statement is at odds with the Republican Party of Texas platform in which both the criminal aspect of cannabis is addressed (Plank 107) as well as medical access (Plank 246). Recently, polls have found up to 80% of Texans favor some sort of cannabis reform whether medical or criminal. Adding to the concern, the measures of such feelings were echoed by delegates to the Republican Party Of Texas State Convention in plank by plank voting with margins of 4 to 1 in favor of criminal reform and an astounding vote of 5,705 delegates in favor of medical reform with only 658 against. .
Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas Chairman, Jeff LeBlanc added, “As a member of the platform committee in 2018, I’d urge the Lt. Governor to reconsider his opinion on this matter. We cannot continue to ignore science as well as the cries from 80% of Texans on this issue. An issue so important both the criminal aspect of cannabis (Plank 107) and medical cannabis (Plank 246) are addressed in our platform. This step was not taken lightly, and was approved by a 4 to 1 majority of Texas Republican Delegates. As he is one of the major Republican leaders in Texas, I urge him to let the delegates and the platform which he runs under be his guide. “