NEW POLL: Nearly 70% of Texans Support Reducing Penalties for Marijuana Possession

Most Texans want to see a more sensible approach to marijuana policy!

According to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll:

A large majority of Texans — 69 percent — would support reduced penalties for possession of small amounts of [marijuana]. Only 21 percent were opposed to that proposition, which the poll phrased this way:

“As you may know, currently, the maximum penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana can include up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000. Would you support or oppose reducing punishment for possession of small amounts of marijuana to a citation and a fine of $250?”

Credit: Texas Tribune

That reflects an increasing permissive attitude even among conservatives. At their recent state convention, Texas Republicans adopted a similar plank for their platform: “We support a change in the law to make it a civil, and not a criminal, offense for legal adults only to possess one ounce or less of marijuana for personal use, punishable by a fine of up to $100, but without jail time.”

Younger Texans might be pushing the issue, but age alone isn’t driving the changes in public opinion.

“We’ve seen this movement take place in a much shorter period of time than the age differences would produce,” said Josh Blank, manager of polling and research at UT-Austin’s Texas Politics Project. He noted that support for medical marijuana has remained relatively stable over several UT/TT polls, even as Texans’ permissiveness has shifted from “never.”

Join us in Austin for Texas’ first statewide marijuana policy conference to learn more about the shifting political climate and the prospects for reform when our Legislature convenes in January.

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