Platforms Reveal Common Ground Between Texas GOP, Democrats


Though they disagree on nearly every major policy issue, from education funding to abortion to immigration, Texas Republicans and Democrats apparently have common ground on a few things, according to the platforms approved at recent state conventions.

Both state parties approve new platforms every two years, covering dozens of issues. Republicans put their platform together in May in Dallas. Democrats followed suit last week in San Antonio.

The platforms provide an opportunity for activists in both parties to outline the positions they expect their candidates and elected officials to hold, though there’s always some that choose to ignore some of their party’s positions.

While much of the two parties’ platforms is irreconcilable, there are a handful of policy areas where Republicans and Democrats appear to come together.

Medical Marijuana

In nearly identical language, both parties ask the state Legislature “to improve the 2015 Compassionate Use Act to allow doctors to determine the appropriate use of cannabis” to patients. The law, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott last year, legalized the sale of oils containing CBD, a non-euphoric component of marijuana, for the treatment of certain medical conditions. Supporters of medical marijuana are expected to lobby the Texas Legislature to expand the law next year.

The addition of the plank in the GOP platform represents a significant shift for the party that has long opposed any marijuana decriminalization efforts, medicinal or otherwise. The Texas Democratic Party’s platform had previously advocated for decriminalization of marijuana, but the reference to the Compassionate Use Act is new.

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