2016 Marijuana Policy Voter Guide – General Election
Election Day: November 8, 2016
Early Voting: Oct. 24 – Nov. 4, 2016
We are very happy to announce that the 2016 Texas NORML Voters’ Guide is now available for distribution to voters! Texas NORML originated the first cannabis centric Voter Guide in 2012. This year we were able to expand the program by working with our coalition, Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, a broad coalition of organizations, activists, and community leaders dedicated to realizing effective, efficient, and evidence-based marijuana policies in Texas. We now are offering Primary Election and General Election Voter Guides with an interactive website. You will also find an Voting Appendix for incumbents pertaining to their votes on last year’s bills.
Texas and over 20 other states in the U.S. cannot collect signatures to place an issue on the ballot for a vote to change state law. Additionally, in 1997, Texas passed a state law requiring that all drug laws be enforced and changed at the state rather than local level. Because of these limitations, Texans must rely on our state elected officials, specifically our state representatives and state senators (so take a close look at yours). Learn more about engaging with your legislators by reviewing our Activist Training Guide.
Here are the five questions we asked the candidates:
1) Do you support or oppose changing state law to allow residents with debilitating medical conditions (e.g. cancer, multiple sclerosis, PTSD) to access whole plant medical marijuana with a physician’s certification?
2) Under current Texas laws, individuals found in possession of less than one ounce of marijuana can be arrested and given a criminal record, and they face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Do you support or oppose changing state law to make possession of less than one ounce of marijuana a civil offense punishable by a fine and no time in jail?
3) Do you support or oppose changing state law to allow adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of marijuana and establishing a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol? Under such a system, it would remain illegal to consume marijuana in public or drive under the influence of marijuana.
4) Industrial hemp is genetically similar to marijuana but contains less than 0.3% of the psychoactive chemical in marijuana (THC). Although it is illegal to grow in the U.S., it is cultivated around the world for its seed and fiber, which are used in many legal products, such as paper, textiles, construction materials, and fuel. Do you support or oppose changing state law to allow the cultivation of industrial hemp?
5) Do you agree or disagree that states should be able to carry out their own marijuana policies without interference from the federal government?
Please fill out our Activist Info Form so that you can be involved in cannabis law reform in Texas.
We recommend taking the following actions in your area:
1. Educate on registering to vote – http://votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/ This is the only way we can be eligible to vote for cannabis-friendly candidates. Register to vote, it’s Texas’ only hope!
2. Share the 2016 Texas NORML Voters’ Guide Interactive Link with all of your friends and family and through social media. Put this Guide on blast!
3. Print and distribute. In addition to the obvious cannabis consumer friendly locations, consider printing up stacks of the Voters’ Guide and leaving them next to the League of Women Voter’s Guide at you local grocery stores and libraries.
4. Look up the State Representatives and State Senators for your area using http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx. Find supportive candidates on social media and follow them. Encourage your members to volunteer for their campaigns. Build relationships and plan on staying in touch throughout the legislative process.
5. Remind everyone to vote!! Early Voting: Oct. 24 – Nov. 4, 2016 / Election Day: November 8, 2016
Let’s get cannabis friendly candidates elected in Texas!