Texans Like Pot

Survey results clear: reform is needed

By Jordan Smith, 4:20PM, Sun. Apr. 20

Texans Like Pot
Illustration by Jason Stout/THINKSTOCK

According to Progress Texas, the early numbers are in and the results are clear: Texans favor pot-law reform.

Earlier this month the progressive media messaging organization launched an online, confidential, three-question survey for Texans: Do you favor legalizing medical marijuana, decriminalizing pot possession, and/or legalization of marijuana for all? This week they sent out their preliminary results – as Phillip Martin, Progress Texas' deputy director put it in an email, pot, it turns out, may actually more popular than football, with greater than 90% of all respondents in favor of significantly revamping the state's pot laws.

With 8,000 respondents already weighing in, from communities large and small scattered across the state, nearly 93% said they favor decriminalization, just over 98% favor legal medi-pot, and nearly 92% said they favor full legalization of pot including for recreational use. The results are, Martin said in an email, "easily the strongest and most geographically diverse" they've ever had – and "we're still in the very, very early phases of pushing this around."

Indeed, pot talk has been a hot topic in Texas so far this year – starting with Gov. Rick Perry's proclamation in January that he has long favored decriminalization measures, to the Marijuana Policy Project's announcement that it is investing heavily, and for the first time, on lobbying efforts here. Indeed, Rob Kampia, MPP's co-founder and executive director, believes legalization is possible in Texas within the next five years.

In an email, Martin said "there's no question that people want to talk about the issue" in Texas. Progress Texas has fielded calls from residents about the survey – including a call from a former prosecutor who has leukemia and wanted to talk about how medi-pot and decriminalization can both save lives, if in different ways. The survey will remain online for several months in an effort to get as much feedback as possible in order to "understand better what people in every region [of the state] think about the various policy options," Martin wrote.

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