Where do the Candidates Stand on Marijuana Policy? | Texas House District 100 Special Election

Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy is a broad coalition of organizations, activists, and community leaders dedicated to realizing effective, efficient, and evidence-based marijuana policies in Texas.

After years of service, Rep. Eric Johnson (D) has retired, triggering a special election in Texas House District 100. Five candidates have offered to serve. We asked each candidate the following questions:

1) Do you support statewide decriminalization (penalty reduction) for possession of small amounts of marijuana (1oz. or less)?

2) Do you support expanding the Compassionate Use Program to put Texas on par with the 33 states that currently allow safe and legal access for patients with debilitating medical conditions and a doctor’s approval?

3) Do you support legalizing adult (21+) use of marijuana in Texas, replacing the illicit market with well-regulated cultivators and dispensaries?

Meet the Candidates

James Armstrong III (D)

Decriminalization of Small Amounts: If elected to the Texas House, I will support statewide decriminalization, which include penalty reduction and or complete penalty dismissal, for possession of small amounts of marijuana. The cost associated with the enforcement of marijuana laws creates a significant burden on law enforcement and has little effect on decreasing the rate of use by users. In fact, the price of marijuana has dropped and become more readily available. Another negative effect of strong criminalization of marijuana use is the disproportion arrest of communities of color and the negative psychological, social, and economic impact it brings.

Expanding Medicinal Access: House Bill 3703 that was passed during the 86th legislative session was a great start to expanding the Compassionate Use Program. However, as State Representative I will work to include additional qualifying conditions under Texas’ Compassionate Use Program.

Legalization of Adult Use:
Not only do I support the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana possession, but as State Representative I would strongly support the legalization of marijuana possession, under regulation, for adults 21 years and older. The economic impact of a regulated legalized marijuana market could generate billions in tax revenue and create hundreds of jobs.

Additional Comments: None.

Website: https://www.armstrongfortexas.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArmstrongForTexas/
Email: info@armstrongfortexas.com

Daniel Davis Clayton (D)

Decriminalization of Small Amounts: Yes
Expanding Medicinal Access: Yes
Legalization of Adult Use: Yes
Additional Comments: I’m from rural East Texas and will be able to work across the aisle with legislators from a multitude of backgrounds to press for passage. I’m also the only candidate with Texas Legislative experience, having worked for 7 years in the Texas Senate and 3 years as a Chief of Staff in the Texas House. I understand the process in both chambers and worked Calendars as a COS. I actually reached out to Heather several months ago via social media as I’m interested in working with the organization. Learn more at www.danielfor100.com -DDC

Website: https://www.danielfor100.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danielfor100/
Email: daniel@danielfor100.com

Unresponsive Candidates

Lorraine Birabil: Team@LorraineForTexas.com
Paul Stafford: staffordfortexas@gmail.com
Sandra Crenshaw: No contact info available online.

Election Information

Election Day is Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Early Voting: October 21 – November 1, 2019

Find information about where to vote here: https://www.votetexas.gov/voting/where.html

Thank you for making marijuana law reform a priority when you cast your vote on November 5!

Texas Marijuana Policy Background

Medical Cannabis
In 2015, Texas established the Compassionate Use Program, which allows limited access to low-THC (.5% THC or less) medical cannabis. The program was minimally expanded in 2019 and advocacy efforts continue with aims of making this program more inclusive.

Decriminalization/Penalty Reduction
All political parties agree that penalties for low-level marijuana possession (1oz. or less) should be reduced to remove the threat of arrest, jail time, and criminal record. Last session, the House passed a measure to achieve these objectives, but was stalled in the Senate.

Legalization (Adult Use 21+)
Texas public opinion in support of repealing marijuana prohibition has recently hit a plurality, but most lawmakers have been resistant to discussions about legalizing and regulating cannabis for adult use. It’s expected that this aspect of marijuana law reform will be getting more attention in future legislative sessions.