New UT/TT Poll: Most Texans Favor Reduced Penalties for Marijuana Possession

Texas Tribune
by Ross Ramsey June 24, 2015

The maximum penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana in Texas is stiff: 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. More than two-thirds of Texans would support lowering that penalty to a citation and a $250 fine, the poll found. Only 26 percent said they would oppose lowering the penalty, including 15 percent who “strongly oppose” the proposal.

Emily Albracht
Emily Albracht

Unlike their hidden divisions on other policy questions, the support for lower penalties for possession was strong across all of the subgroups in the survey.

“This one is obvious,” Shaw said. “If you took a real pro-law-and-order stance 10 years ago, you have to go through some sort of conversion.” Support was uniform, in his words, “from hippy-dippy liberals to the Tea Party.”

A related question from the February UT/TT Poll found 42 percent willing to legalize pot in small or large amounts for personal use, and another 34 percent said they were willing to legalize marijuana for medical use. In that survey, 24 percent said they would not legalize it for any purpose.

Read more here including polling methodology: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/06/24/uttt-poll-texans-divided-gay-marriage/