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JD Hancock

The Republican Party of Texas officially endorsed the decriminalization of cannabis last month. Party leaders also called on the federal government to reschedule cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act and to legalize industrial hemp.

“Civil Penalty: We support a change in the law to make it a civil, and not a criminal, offense for legal adults only to possess one ounce or less of marijuana for personal use, punishable by a fine of up to $100, but without jail time. …

“Cannabis Classification: Congress should remove cannabis from the list of Schedule 1 and move to Schedule 2. …

“Hemp: We recognize industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural commodity. We urge the Texas Legislature to pass legislation allowing cultivation, manufacture, and sale of industrial hemp and hemp products.” — Texas GOP party platform excerpts

The Texas GOP also called on state lawmakers to expand the state’s 2015 Compassionate Use Act and give doctors the right to determine the best uses and scenarios for medical cannabis.

These are yet further signs that cannabis is becoming an increasingly mainstream issue and, following the Texas GOP announcements, 2018 appears to be shaping out as yet another banner year for cannabis policy.

“Texas Republicans, like the majority of Americans, are ready to see more sensible marijuana policies enacted. Our state wastes valuable criminal justice resources arresting between 60,000-70,000 Texans annually. Delegates took a stand this week for a better approach.” — Heather Fazio, coalition coordinator for Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, in a Forbes interview

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