Texas Democratic Party Endorses Marijuana Decriminalization

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive 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.

    102 responses to “Texas Democratic Party Endorses Marijuana Decriminalization”

    1. MatterofLiberty says:

      Good news, nice to see some common sense comming from the south for once.

    2. Joel: the other Joel says:

      This endorsement would help vote out some unchallenged Republican Congressmen who voted NO on the Rohrabacher of California Amendment. It would also provide some competition among Democrats.

      I’m an Independent that likes to read Ron Paul’s books.

    3. Joel: the other Joel says:

      “Remember the Rohrbacher-Hinchey Amendment!”

      Clean the House. Get rid of the 212 Republicans and the 50 Democrats that had voted NO. Save the United States. End the Fed.

      I’m still an Independent that likes to read books by Ron Paul.

    4. Douglas says:

      I DONT BELIEVE IT I DONT BELIEVE IT I AM FROM TEXAS I AM SO EXCITED THAT I POO IN MY PANTS (I am 55 years old and I really dint believe I every see this in Texas )

    5. Douglas says:

      I just had to read this again I cant believe it. I knew praying would work Thank you God

    6. Brandon Boucher says:

      wow, to be honest, i never saw this coming. seems to me southerners are too drunk and bible bashing to have common sense.

      this coming from a michigander living in north carolina.

      hopefully i will be proven wrong…

    7. Warren says:

      Don’t forget the media!!!!! They are also ignoring this issue. This is true of the many news channels refusing to air anything to do with the legalization issue; pretending it is not even happening. It is also true of social media like Twitter that refuse to post or even acknowledge the 9/9 time #1 question being when can we discuss legalization. Those jackasses even went so far as to ignore the #1 question and raise #2 to #1.

    8. Mr. America says:

      What’s this? The south is beginning to show signs of having a brain?

    9. Will S. says:

      Little by little, brick by brick, the wall called prohibition is starting to crumble. The prez and his challenger won’t stand on this issue because they are too afraid but it doesn’t matter. The death, destruction and lies of the great deception also known as prohibition is on its last legs. Never underestimate the resolve of the American people, we are smarter than you think and the numbers that want their freedom back are quickly eclipsing the ones who don’t. Our day is coming, we can’t all show our faces because we have kids to feed and mortgage payments to make but best believe come November our voices will be heard! End cannabis prohibition now!

    10. Bradson says:

      This is another wave of common sense politics adding to the coming tsunami of change that will soon wash away cannabis prohibition.
      Still, why is it so difficult to recognize and declare that marijuana is actually much less harmful, not merely “no more dangerous” than alcohol and tobacco? To me, such statements continue to support a cultural denial of how harmful alcohol and tobacco clearly are.