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Texas Democratic Party Endorses Marijuana Decriminalization

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director June 18, 2012

    From Thursday, June 7th through Saturday, June 9th, the Texas Democratic Party held their state convention in Houston, Texas. Along side other election related business such as selecting delegates, they also voted on their party platform for 2012. One of the issues added this year was support for marijuana decriminalization. Below you can read the official language:

    Decriminalization of Marijuana

    This decriminalization of marijuana does not mean we endorse the use of marijuana but it is only a call to wiser use of law enforcement and public health policy. Prohibition of marijuana abdicates the control of marijuana production and distribution to drug cartels and street gangs. Such prohibition promotes disrespect for the law and reinforces ethnic and generational divides between the public and law enforcement.

    Every year, hundreds and thousands of Americans are arrested for marijuana possession violations- far more than all those arrested for violent crimes in America. Societal costs dealing with the war on drugs concerning marijuana exceeds 12 billion dollars annually. Since the war on drugs began, 85% of the arrests for marijuana have been for possession only.

    Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Recent polls show over 50% of Americans believe marijuana should be decriminalized. While arrests for marijuana since 1965 have been over 20 million citizens, marijuana is more prevalent than ever before.

    There is no evidence that marijuana is a “gateway” drug leading to the use of more lethal drugs. 75% of citizens arrested for marijuana are under 30. Minorities account for a majority of those arrested for marijuana. Criminal conviction permanently scars a young citizen for life.

    Texas Democrats urge the President, the Attorney General and the Congress to support the passage of legislation to decriminalize the possession of marijuana and regulate its use, production and sale as is done with tobacco and alcohol.

    We further urge the immediate decriminalization of the possession and use of medical marijuana.

    Source: Texas Democratic Party 2012 Platform

    The Texas Democrats now join the growing list of state political parties throwing their support behind marijuana law reform. Earlier this year, the Colorado Democratic Party added marijuana legalization as a plank to their party’s platform and announced support for their state’s legalization ballot initiative, Amendment 64. 56% of Denver Country Republican Assembly also voted in favor of supporting this initiative. The state democratic party in Washington endorsed their legalization initiative, I-502, in late 2011.

    While the federal government may continue to ignore the will of the people on the marijuana issue, it is comforting to see state level politicians supporting the interests and desires of their constituencies. Considering that pro-reform candidates are winning elections in multiple states, respected party members such as Governor Cuomo (D-NY) and Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D-Chicago) are endorsing decriminalization, and the continuous flow of marijuana law reform being approved at the state level, one has to wonder just how much longer the federal government and current presidential contenders can ignore the giant green elephant in the room.

    100 Responses to “Texas Democratic Party Endorses Marijuana Decriminalization”

    1. this.guy2001 says:

      I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but claygooding is right. This is a historically Republican state and it just seems like a political move to sway more people to vote Democrat. I can’t help but think that will just prompt a Republican backlash in favor of an opposing stance.

    2. Malcolm Kyle says:

      THE SOUTH SHALL RISE AGAIN!

      Prohibition is actually an authoritarian War On The Economy, Constitution and All Civic Institutions of our once great nation.

      It’s all about market and cost/benefit analysis. Whether any particular drug is good, bad, or otherwise is irrelevant – as long as there is demand for any mind altering substance there WILL be supply; THE END! The only affect prohibiting it has is to drive the price up while increasing the costs and profits – and where there is illegal profit to be made criminals and terrorists thrive.

      The cost of criminalizing citizens who are using substances similar but no more harmful than those that are perfectly legal – like alcohol and tobacco, is not only hypocritical and futile, but also simply not worth the incredible suffering and damage it causes.

    3. SmalltownTexas says:

      This news is no news, everyone in Texas knows this is a Republican state, with a Repubican Governer, and a Republican Congress. Since Ann Richards screwed our state with the loto lies, we have avoided allowing Democrats in office, and unless something drastic happens in the very near future, I don’t see it changing. Texas does not want more state government at the expence of the private sector, Which the Democrats seem to be all about, But I personally do not think the Republicans we have elected are doing all they can to better our state. What we need is more state and federal congressmen holding office that are not democrats or republicans. It is time to clean house, and elect people that will do what the people want, and not what is best for themselves.

    4. lol says:

      Finally they have realized if we legalize and cultivate it ourselves we will eventually put the cartel out of business as far as weed goes and our officials can focus on life altering drugs like heroin, meth, crack,speed,oh yea and prescription drug abuse.

    5. Poop says:

      I’m gonna puff anyways, they might as well bank on it. Aheh heh… I just want my high friends to quit being so fucking paranoid, imagine smoking and never worrying about it.

    6. [...] on the heels of the Texas Democratic Party’s endorsement of marijuana decriminalization, the North Carolina Democratic Party endorsed two resolutions in [...]

    7. tommy from texas says:

      i have to agree with yall especially poop smalltown

    8. EV Madsen says:

      While this is wonderful news for Texas, please remember that this is at the state level, and has nothing to do with Obama the Liar.

      A vote for state Democrats does not require a vote for Obama. Please remember the lies he has told and the way he has devastated this country, and vote your conscience.

    9. [...] on the heels of the Texas Democratic Party’sendorsement of marijuana decriminalization, theNorth Carolina Democratic Party endorsed two resolutions in [...]

    10. If you want it over, then you’ve got to decide that it’s OVER.

      The longer you keep playing the game of “Let’s rename prohibition and let people THINK that what we’re doing it making it ‘legal’ for everyone”, then the longer people will keep getting surprised that what they were told they were getting is NOT what they got!

      Another MAJOR problem is that too many people are so willing to “pick a side” without ever once even considering actually READING THE BILL they are voting on! In effect, you’ve got an entire country full of CONGRESSMEN!

      The Fallacy of the “Legalize & Tax Cannabis” Initiatives
      http://overgrow.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-fallacy-of-the-legalize-and-tax-cannabis-initiatives

      Distill it down to the roots of the problem, and the solution to prohibition is down to only THREE WORDS:

      1) DEschedule.
      2) Repeal.
      3) DONE!

      No thousand-word bills. No new taxes. No new agencies. No new “government employees.” No new infringiments on yor rights. No new “non-violent crimes on paper.” No new non-violent “criminals” in prison.

      Oh yeah…and 20+ BILLION of YOUR MONEY no longer wasted ANNUALLY.

      Or you can keep playing “What do we rename prohibition THIS WEEK?” Your choice…

    11. [...] on the heels of the Texas Democratic Party’s endorsement of marijuana decriminalization, the North Carolina Democratic Party endorsed two resolutions in [...]

    12. Mr. Hopeless says:

      Why is It always out of our hands, always just out of reach, always at the crest but never crashing down?
      Voting nowadays just seems to be a complex like button on the governments Facebook page, and the government just keeps updating its status, and politicians keep commenting on the subject status just to get likes themselves. Making it just as pointless as a Facebook arguement.
      Petition, argue, comment, post it’s all a pointless loop. The government is going to do what it wants regardless. And yes the comment is hypocritical like most, but you know it’s true.

    13. [...] on the heels of the Texas Democratic Party’s endorsement of marijuana decriminalization, the North Carolina Democratic Party endorsed two resolutions in [...]

    14. [...] support for marijuana legalization in their 2012 party platform. On June 9th, the Texas Democrats endorsed marijuana decriminalization. Last weekend, the North Carolina Democratic Party [...]

    15. Endorsing is not enacting because both, New York and Chicago killed proposals to lessen the penalties against possession of marijuana .
      Back to the drawing board…..

      [Paul Armentano responds: The Chicago legislation today was approved 13 to 1 in committee. The full council votes on it this Wednesday, June 27.]

    16. [...] this month, the Texas Democratic Party adopted marijuana decriminalization as an official part of their platform, and the North Carolina Democratic Party endorsed [...]

    17. john says:

      dude… some of you guys are idiots… “Texas is a historically Republican State…”

      LOL you must not know history past the last 15 years or so…

    18. [...] From Thursday, June 7th through Saturday, June 9th, the Texas Democratic Party held their state convention in Houston, Texas. Along side other election …blog.norml.org/…/texas-democratic-party-endorses-marijuana-… [...]

    19. [...] Posted by Cocakilla Why is this NC and TX, I don't see any news about TX in here :'( Texas. Texas Democratic Party Endorses Marijuana Decriminalization | NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform __________________ Don't Like The Laws? Change The Law Makers! Keep The Faith The Truth Will [...]

    20. Brandon says:

      If the republican party knows what’s in its best interest it will adopt a similar policy within the next few years.

    21. [...] The North Carolina Democratic Party is formally in support of a compassionate use law in this key swing state. At the state’s June 16th convention, party officials adopted a resolution (PDF) titled, In Support of Legalizing Medical Marijuana in North Carolina. The state party also adopted a resolution in favor of industrial hemp growing. In California, the Democratic Central Committees of San Francisco and Alameda Counties, whose combined population is over two million, passed resolutions condemning federal government raids on local dispensaries. In addition to these statements from Democratic organizations in favor of medical cannabis, the Texas, Colorado, and Washington State Democratic Parties have adopted marijuana decriminalization or legalization resolutions. [...]

    22. [...] in favor of medical cannabis, the Texas, Colorado, and Washington State Democratic Parties have adopted marijuana decriminalization or legalization resolutions.With the American electorate almost evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, President Obama [...]

    23. [...] Originally Posted by Shizmot Are you sure legalization? There's an enormous difference between legalization/decriminaling/medical. Sorry. It was decriminalization: Texas Democratic Party Endorses Marijuana Decriminalization | NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform [...]

    24. [...] tosupport the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes, while in Texas, Democrats endorsed legalizing the plant for anyone, resolving: “Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. … [...]

    25. Adriadna says:

      Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican and has said he will end prohibition all together… They do not plan to do anything against Obama and Obama says no… Thinking about it is not a yes

    26. Adriadna says:

      And he Is a Texas congressman from lake Jackson tx … Join us at the Republican national convention in Tampa, Fl.

    27. [...] Democrats endorsed legalizing weed with this resolution: “Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. … There is [...]

    28. ray glass says:

      Finally our generation is going to do something to end prohibition of marijuana. I saw my dad die of alcoholism and if he had been using marijuana instead he probably still be alive. I have always thought it was ridicilous to throw someone in jail for a weed. Now’s its time to let us choose between alcohol and marijuana. I havent had a drink in over twelve years and dont ever plan to. The drug companies and alcohol companies are shivering in their shoes as people will wisen up and realize that weed is less harmful to the body than drugs or alcohol.

    29. Tony says:

      While Iwas trying to do without cannabis, to comply with the laws—I turned to alcohol for my recreational buzz. But it’s not the same, and alcohol caused a lot of problems in my life until I finally got wise and went back to pot. Since that time I started and finished a college vocational course, and increased my income by 3 fold. I’ve felt much better and have been driving sober ever since. People used to comment on my drinking but now nobody says anything about my sobriety anymore.

    30. [...] resolved to support the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes, while in Texas, Democrats endorsed legalizing the plant for anyone, resolving: “Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. … [...]

    31. Save The Children says:

      Marijuana is bad and bad for you. Anyone who smokes and or eats this mistakenly pleasant drug will surely pay in the long run. The youth of America is getting high leading them to be lazy, good for nothing assholes. Kids now a days knocking over trash cans and throwing their bubble gum wherever they please. Trashcans Dammit! Leaving them on the curb and the garbage man just leaves them in the middle of the street. Put that shit back where you found it! Don’t smoke pot!!!!

    32. Warren Osborn says:

      Who is the idiot who wrote this stupid shit? Blaming marijuana for kids knocking over trash cans? I hope no one is stupid enough to believe this shit. I smoke marijuana just about every day and when I was a rambunctious kid I knocked over a few trash cans but did not smoke pot back then so that blows your theory you retarded son of a bitch.

    33. DeepInTheHeartOfTx says:

      Texas has NOT always been a Republican state…who’s history are you reading… “things haven’t always been so great for Texas Republicans. For over one hundred years, the Republican Party was not a viable force in Texas politics. We were the second party in a one-party state. During that time, the GOP failed to win a single statewide race and controlled only a handful of seats in the Legislature”

    34. Artemis says:

      Marijuana is no different than liquor and it is legal. People get behind the wheel and kill others all the time. I believe it should be legal. If not make it illegal for liqour.

    35. cfblan says:

      I received a night in jail and $1000 bond for possession. The others there had DUI’s and public intoxication and all had drastically cheaper bonds than me. A lone kid who just got broken up with, I just wanted to smoke a bowl and watch some anime but yet got snitched on and fucked over. I will fight for dank until it is legal and able to help every citizen blind to its positive effects.

    36. L3v1 says:

      Consider these financial pro’s if weed was as legal like alcohol in Texas. 1.Mexican drug smugglers wouldn’t have a reason to smuggle weed across the boarder, slowing down a great amount of american currency that gets sent to Mexico. 2. The economical change from black market to taxation would revert currency into the system for more state wide funding. 3. Street value would decrease to acual value, puting that left over currency into circulation, doing good for Texas businesses. 4. The taxes spent on enforcing the current laws could be used for more state wide funding.

    37. janeblaze12 says:

      marijuana needs to be legal for so many reasons..tx needs to jump on that cashcow and giv the people what the people want..just show us where to vote!

    38. Artscopion says:

      Legalizing Marijuana is Having the game played on our field on our terms. Reduction in border patrol load, economic benefit, cripleing the drug lords a little and reuction in crimes and prison load. More to gain than loose. The controlled farmer.

    39. M. Aguilar says:

      Well I think if it was llegalized maybe the crime rate will massively go down eventually all drugdealers,gang problems
      or activities will also die with all else..hell i puff on this stuff
      it keep me from pulling out the last strands of my hair out of my head!!!

    40. Anonymous says:

      I thank it should be easy to make legal because you never heard of somebody smoking 12 joints and going down the road killing somebody and we all seen it happen by drinking 12 beers and far is Mexico does anybody bringing marijuana from Mexico to the United States should be charged with trafficking

    41. Have cancer. Cant get medical Marajuna here, if I do the Pain Clinic here will not treat me. Where is the compassion?

    42. sherry says:

      I suffer from P S D and anxiety. This is the only safe drug that helps without side effect. The side effects are many times worse than the meds. Many people just get off their meds and get in serious trouble. Sad this happens because of taxing.

    43. Deborah Dills says:

      Our family drove out of Texas a year ago,and moved to WA state, because we were fed up with the state being 20-30 years behind the times. It will take another 20 years for Texas to maybe legalize marijuana. That’s too bad, because they could make a hell of a lot of money on growing marijuana -(Green Gold) just like their Black Gold-oil, and stop drug cartels in the meantime from profiting from pot. Here in WA state, you can get a medical marijuana license for $125-215 for a year. Then smoke or eat your heart away, and grow up to 15 plants for your meds.

    44. Anonymous says:

      USA an the land of the free istituto not so free when other states can do something an others cant i smoke weed everyday an i love it

    45. Victoria Madsen says:

      The main problem in Texas is State Congressman Lamar Smith.

      He sits as leader of the State Judiciary Committee, and he will not allow any bills that have been introduced to decriminalize marijuana out of committee for a floor vote.

      Everyone needs to write and call him without ceasing. It is an absolute travesty that one man can stand in the way of marijuana law reform in the Great State of Texas!

    46. concerned american says:

      laws these days aren’t really laws, just paperwork to get around.
      I remember being a kid and all the anti marijuana ads where was the proof then when they made it illegal. the only reason they did was to get a bunch of hippies off the white house lawn. lets be REAL.

    47. jonse says:

      im begining to thank the only real humane beings are the native americans.white people are religous snobs forcing there bull on everybody else cant we all be free,let us grow

    48. ramone renoir says:

      I don’t understand why people keep saying Texas is “historically Republican.” Texas has had only 5 Republican governors in its history and 39 Democrat governors. Texas is, overall, an historically Democrat state. It’s just that we’ve been inundated lately with right wing nut-jobs that win elections with their fake Christian affiliation.—Bush, Perry, and Clements—We can take it back

    49. 26 says:

      I am disabled from old injuries and have had over 20 surgeries in last 40 years, I have been on morphine pain killers for about 20 years for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and other injuries. My pain doctors are more concerned with their medical liscenses than with their patients, as if you test positive for pot, they will not prescribe for you. I am in so much pain, I get prescription morphine, but cannot use pot which is so much less dangerous. If I could smoke, I could reduce the amount of Morphine, but not in the great state of Texas, as all the so called pain specialests are afraid of losing their liscenses if they prescribe to anyone that smokes. Any lawyers out there who would like to sue the state to help people like me?? I can’t wait 20 years, need help now. If so post here and I will contact you. !!

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