Lawmakers pushing for legalization of marijuana in Texas

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Texas lawmakers looking at legalizing medical marijuana
It would take some leaps and bounds, but the proposal to legalize medical marijuana in Texas is picking up momentum after four states approved it on Election Day.

Support is growing for legal marijuana in Texas, but there are two key differences in what some lawmakers are trying to accomplish.

Voters in four states last week approved legalizing recreational marijuana, which has many wondering if Texas could follow suit.

State Representative Roland Gutierrez out of San Antonio is proposing a bill to legalize marijuana.

He says the industry would create 30,000 new jobs in Texas and bring in more than $3 billion in revenue.

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Texas State senator Jose Menedez and District 27 Rep. Ron Reynolds have also proposed legislation to expand the use of medical marijuana.

Right now, it can be used in Texas to treat a very limited number of conditions, such as epilepsy, and the level of THC, the psychoactive element of marijuana, can't be higher than 0.5%

"The legislature didn't really change with this last election, so I'm not optimistic that there will be full-fledged legalization. I'm practical about that. I would favor that. I would vote in favor of that," Reynolds said. "But I think this medical...I think there's enough. Some of my conservative colleagues are compassionate for people's medical health. They may be open to supporting this legislation."

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"It boggles my mind in so many ways that Texas can be a state that, 'We respect your liberties, your liberty to carry a gun, do all these other things,' but liberty to use medical therapy," Menendez said. "You and your doctor say it's best for you, we say, 'Oh no, time out, only a few people can do that.'"

Gov. Greg Abbott has not shown support for recreational marijuana.

He would have to sign any new marijuana bills if they pass.