Is Texas A Fertile Ground For The Legalization Of Marijuana?
There are a lot of things that could be said about Texas and, up until recently, the support for the legalization of marijuana has not been one of them. However, recent polls show that the majority of Texas people (58% of them, to be precise) are in favor of legalizing marijuana. Now, we did believe that legalization efforts stemming from Washington and Colorado will mark a significant change in the marijuana current in the U.S. but nobody saw this happening. More liberal states like New York were expected to join Colorado and Washington, certainly not Texas.
Conservative But Proactive
And that’s all for the better actually. Because when a conservative state such as Texas steps up and recognizes the benefits of marijuana legalization, that’s where things are looking up. So, it’s not a question anymore whether Texas will legalize marijuana but when will Texas legalize marijuana. However, if there’s one thing that Texas does best, its legislature. Their Legislature is known for its effectiveness. Why? Because it is business orientated. Legalizing marijuana would truly open a lot of business opportunities for the residents of Texas.
Adapting The Legislature
With the development of the marijuana business, the legislature would have to adapt as well. In this case, the legislature would regulate marijuana sale and consumption (especially in terms of juvenile marijuana use). This would mean that marijuana would become a taxable item and some penalties regarding marijuana would have to be removed or significantly reduced. For instance, Texas has been so effective with its Legislature that between 1998 and 2001, there has been a 36% decline in youth tobacco use. That is not only a result of strong regulations but also hardcore education. Therefore, instead of inventing hot water all over again, Texas would simply have to adjust the existing legislation in order to legalize marijuana.
The War On Drugs Can’t Be Won?
Let’s face it; every time you criminalize something – people only want more of it. If it’s forbidden, it must be at least interesting, right? In light of that, recent research has shown that decriminalization of marijuana either reduces marijuana use or at least keeps it stagnant, something criminalization hasn’t been able to achieve in the last couple of decades. It’s like the war on drugs; it just can’t be won, at least not in head to head combat. In terms of illegal activities, regulations will have to be strict to prevent teenagers from accessing marijuana and at the same time prevent possible drug dealers of getting their hands on it. This would surely take the pressure of the Criminal Justice System. Texas has until 2015 to update the state’s marijuana policy and taxing the substance. This will give legislators enough time to study the marijuana industry and its benefits, if they haven’t done so already.