The novel coronavirus took a toll on nearly every state’s economy this year. And with the potential of another lockdown being imminent, many Texas Democrats are hoping this might be an opportunity to start talking seriously about recreational cannabis.
There’s a significance in the way cannabis has helped to lift an economy within legalized states—through sales, job openings, and tax revenues. However, even Texas Democrats know the chances of seeing legal weed in the Lone Star State are still slim.
State Senator Rolan Gutierrez of San Antonio and state Representative Joe Moody of El Paso have proposed a bill that would legalize and regulate cannabis use for personal consumption in 2021. While it’s unlikely state leaders are going to be all-in with this proposal, state Representative Terry Canales of Edinburg suggests they should give Texas voters the right to decide.
It’s estimated that Texas has lost $4.6 billion since the pandemic first hit back in March. Through cannabis, Gutierrez and Moody hope to advocate the fact that they can not only bring in more tax revenue but also create thousands of jobs which will naturally stir the economy.
“As we see a number of states engaging around the country in a retail market, this is no longer an experiment,” Moody told NEWS4SA. “It is also no secret that we are heading into some rough economic waters and we need to explore every possible revenue stream.”
This isn’t the first time state representatives have tried to push for legalization in Texas. Every attempt prior has been met with significant opposition from the Texas Capital.
The unfortunate truth is figures like Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and other Senate Republicans are still under the impression that cannabis is a drug that must be met with staunch resistance. It’s unlikely their viewpoints are going to change and, frankly, it’s just as unlikely Texas will see legal weed within the next few years.
However, the public’s opinion on cannabis is obviously changing. And even if the strictest conservatives want to get re-elected, they’re going to have to start listening to what the public wants. The more we demand cannabis, the more likely it will come to fruition.
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