It seems like the only thing that’s holding back Texas from legalizing marijuana is a few conservative legislators. And that ain’t right. Texas is a huge state and has a population of almost 30 million people. That’s a lot of people who would benefit from legalized weed. And with 55% of the population in favor of marijuana legalization, you know it’s time to make some changes.
The introduction of House Bill 1937 by Representative Jessica Gonzalez (D-Dallas) could provide a path to allow select cities and counties to legalize recreational marijuana in the Lone Star State. This bill allows people 21 or older to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis for recreational use and institutes a 10% tax on all cannabis-related products. This revenue could be allocated towards initiatives such as cannabis testing, regulation, quality control, government oversight, and school funding.
But while this bill has been proposed, its future is uncertain. Gonzalez had a similar bill introduced in 2021 that failed to progress to a vote and it’s likely this year’s version will meet with the same fate. The governor, Greg Abbott, isn’t too keen on legalizing weed either, so it looks like it might be an uphill battle for Texas cannabis advocates if they want to see their state get lit.
But there’s still hope!
CITY BY CITY LEGALIZATION?
Texas has already made some steps towards cannabis reform with the Compassionate Use Act of 2015 and House Bill 1325 of 2019, both of which allow certain medical uses of marijuana as well as the cultivation, processing, and sale of hemp-derived products. Still, smoking marijuana remains illegal in the state and possessing it can still result in fines and jail time. So it’s no surprise people are getting fed up with the lack of progress.
That’s why Dallas City Council members Chad West and Adam Bazaldua have expressed their support for allowing their city to legalize recreational cannabis should House Bill 1937 pass. This could generate some much needed revenue for public education while preventing unnecessary arrests and creating job opportunities as well. But even if the bill were to pass, Governor Abbott would have to sign off on it, which isn’t looking likely at this point.
So until then, Texans may have to settle for the cities that are close enough to take advantage of legal weed in other states like Colorado and California – or just hit up Dallas and Houston when they come through Texas!