Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller (R) said in an editorial last week that he supports the expansion of medical cannabis in the state and that cannabis prohibition “must end.” In the letter, Miller compares cannabis prohibition to the “failed alcohol prohibition of the 1920s.”
“As I look back, I believe that cannabis prohibition came from a place of fear, not from medical science or the analysis of social harm. Sadly, the roots of this came from a history of racism, classism, and a large central government with an authoritarian desire to control others. It is as anti-American in its origins as could be imaginable. Today, in the 21st century, this must end. We must start with a new chapter and a new attitude about the use of cannabis – especially when it comes to its potential medicinal benefits.” — Miller, “Editorial: Standing Up For Compassionate Use,” July 15, 2022
Miller points out that 39 states have legalized medical cannabis, “including politically conservative states such as Oklahoma, Utah, and Florida” while 18 states have legalized cannabis for adults, “including conservative western states like Arizona, Montana, and Alaska.”
“While I am not sure that Texas is ready to go that far, I have seen firsthand the value of cannabis as medicine to so many Texans,” he wrote. “Those states that have gone before Texas are providing real-world data and research about what they are doing right and what can be improved. But the roots for good Texas policy on cannabis have already been planted.”
Miller said his goal next year is to “expand access to the compassionate use of cannabis products in Texas so that every Texan with a medical need has access to these medicines.”
He indicated he plans to urge Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and the Republican-led Legislature “to come together and set aside our political differences to have an honest conversation about cannabis: where we have been, where we are going, and what role government should properly play.”
During a campaign stop in January, Abbot said that low-level cannabis possession “is not the type of violation” officials “want to stockpile jails with;” however, he did not press lawmakers to implement reforms during the session.
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