Beto O’Rourke, Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee with a long record of supporting drug policy reform in the Lone Star state and in Congress, this week criticized the Texas GOP over endorsing marijuana criminalization.
The Texas Republican Party has adopted a platform plank opposing the legalization of Cannabis, reports Marijuana Moment. The state GOP has, therefore, shown itself out of touch with Lone Star voters. More Democrats, far and away, support legalization than Republicans. But Texas polling shows that voters in the state support the policy change on an increasingly bipartisan basis.
The legalization position was one of several marijuana and drug policy measures taken up by delegates at the party’s biennial state convention this past weekend.
High Level Of Jackassery Is Evident
Texas Republicans also passed regressive planks opposing harm reduction policies like syringe exchange programs, and supporting so-called “faith-based rehabilitation” for substance misuse. But they weren’t content with that level of jackassery. Nope, they also support forced drug testing for welfare recipients and designating drug cartels as terrorist organizations.
That anti-legalization plank, however, may just be merely the most notably execrable of the newly adopted measures. And political analysts are mystified about the decision to support a position that runs directly counter to bipartisan public opinion on the issue. Are the Republicans really ceding that much political ground to Beto and the Democrats?
The delegates’ votes on the issues still need to be formally certified by the party, but the expectation is that continuing marijuana prohibition will be the official stance of the Texas GOP. Separate controversial party measures also adopted at the convention include restricting LGBTQ rights, and restricting abortion access.
Going After Reproductive Rights, LGBTQIA Rights
Not content with taking shots at the civil rights of women and gay people, Texas Republicans went even farther. In the face of all evidence to the contrary, they went full Q Anon. Yes, these inveterate whack jobs actually called into question the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election. These extreme positions, meanwhile, have become a source of national controversy.
“Just because you don’t like cannabis, or you wouldn’t want your kids or your husband or whoever to use cannabis, that doesn’t mean that prohibition is the right answer,” said John Baucum. Baucum is the political director of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP).
He added that he thinks Texas GOP voters wouldn’t necessarily support the idea of the government “locking people away for possession” for marijuana. That’s especially true while other, arguably more harmful substances, are legal.
Texas GOP Ain’t Admitting *Shit*…
“I’ll let you in on a secret: Republicans like to get high just as much as Democrats,” O’Rourke said at a South by Southwest panel in March, the Austin-American Statesman reports.
But the Texas GOP ain’t admitting shit. Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, for example, has repeatedly blocked marijuana reform. Patrick sets the agenda for the Texas Senate.
“Don’t you think it’s time we legalize marijuana in the state of Texas? I do too,” Beto told a cheering crowd in Fort Worth, reports Reform Austin. ”We can get that done.”