Governor Abbott voiced that he is open to a discussion with the Texas Legislature to reducing penalties for marijuana possession. Some were shocked to hear his opinion as he has been opposed to many opportunities to reform marijuana laws in the past. Many are excited to hear this shift in opinion.
Abbott said, “What I would be open to talking to the legislature about would be reducing the penalty for possession of two ounces or less from a class B misdemeanor to a class C misdemeanor.”
If the governor is re-elected, some are waiting on the chance to speak with him – like executive director of Texas NORML Jax Finkel, according to Texas Public Radio. Governor Abbott has shown some support for marijuana law reform when he signed the Compassionate Use Act into law in 2015. While the law is very restricted, it is a step in a forward direction.
Finkel said, “He said he doesn’t want people sitting in jails, and we agree with that. People should not be in jail for possession of a plant, and so we look forward to those conversations with his office.”
Abbott has been adamant about opposing full marijuana legalization. He is also opposed to full medical marijuana legalization.
He said, “I remain convinced that Texas should not legalize marijuana, nor should Texas open the door for conventional marijuana should be used for medical or medicinal purposes, and as governor, I will not allow it.”
Regarding expanding access to more medical conditions like PTSD and autism, Abbott said, “More recently, I’ve had conversations with veterans as well as parents of autistic children and others, who make a very strong compelling case about legalization of medical marijuana. I’ve seen however in states that authorize that abuses that take place that raise concerns, so I’m still not convinced yet.”
Being open to reducing penalties for possession of marijuana statewide is another miniscule step forward for Texas.