It’s that time again, where a few Texans (about 23 percent turn out for mid-term voting) go to the polls and decide the direction of the state, among other things, for the next few years. A common question is, will there be anything marijuana related to vote on?
That’s a more complicated question than you might think. The direct answer is that no, there will not be anything specific to cannabis that can be voted on, such as a referendum or ballot initiative. In Texas there is not a ballot initiative process, and the state legislature did not pass anything in 2017 which could be put to a vote this year.
There is no vote for recreational marijuana, nor is there a vote for medical cannabis. There’s no vote for changing Texas’ marijuana laws in any way.
A bill was introduced to the legislature that could have allowed Texans to vote on these issues, however that bill died in committee.
That doesn’t mean that voting this year won’t have an impact on the state’s marijuana laws. Quite the contrary, given that only the state legislature has the power to change them. Candidates who are supportive of changing the laws are on the ballot this year.
Due to the hard work of activists around the state, all of those candidates can be found in a single voter guide, which was recently released by the non-profit cannabis advocacy organization Texas NORML.
These Texas House and Senate officials will play a key role in deciding whether or not cannabis bills in the 2019 legislative session will live or die.