Should marijuana be legal in Texas? A new poll says most Texans say yes.

Ash Jurberg

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A poll conducted this week by the Dallas Morning News-University of Texas at Tyler has found that 60% of Texans support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.

This included 75% of Democrat voters and 42% of Republican voters.

Support was even stronger when people were asked about using marijuana for medical purposes.

An overwhelming majority of 83% of Texan voters polled supported the legalization of marijuana for medical use, including 91% of Democrats and 74% of Republican voters.

The results show the attitude of Texans toward the drug is changing. For example, a University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll in May 2010 showed that only 27% of Texans ever thought marijuana should ever be legal.

The election issue

The issue is one of the hot topics in the race for Texas Governor.

Democrat nominee Beto O'Rourke has been strong on his view that he would legalize marijuana in Texas should he be elected. In addition, he would expunge the records of people who had been arrested for marijuana possession.

" Marijuana arrests have created vast racial disparities in our criminal justice system, generated an unnecessary burden on Texas taxpayers, and diverted law enforcement officers’ time and attention away from violent crime.
When I’m governor, we will legalize marijuana and expunge the records of those arrested for marijuana possession — and we’ll use the nearly $1 billion in new state revenue and reduced criminal justice costs to invest in public schools and teacher pay raises." Beto O'Rourke

While Gov Greg Abbott isn't as strong on the view as his political opponent, he does support some decriminalization of marijuana.

One thing that I believe in, and I believe the state Legislature believes in, and that is prison and jail is a place for dangerous criminals who may harm others. Small possession of marijuana is not the type of violation that we want to stockpile jails with.” Gov Abbott

Readers, what do you think? Should marijuana be legal in Texas, as O'Rourke wants? Or do you think small amounts should be decriminalized, as Abbott suggests?

Will the issue determine who you vote for Governor?

Please leave your comments below.

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