Over the past decade, a startling shift has occurred regarding the federal war on drugs. After generations of drug prohibition failed to curb the use and proliferation of illegal substances, the public began to turn on these policies and support legalization.
Now, even ‘tough-on-crime’ Republicans have started to embrace legal marijuana, as they see predictions of doom and gloom not coming to pass in states that have already legalized such as Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Texas is the next state poised to legalize marijuana in some form, and the state GOP has even put language into their platform supporting medical marijuana and decriminalization.
“Women are nurturing and they’re moms and they have compassion for somebody else who has a child that’s hurting,” said Amy Lou Fawell, a Republican Texas voter who has a son suffering from autism, to KXAN News.
“Cannabis is a God-given plant with medicinal purposes like many other God-given plants with medicinal purposes,” said Fawell.
According to a Texas Tribune poll, 53 percent of Texas voters want to legalize marijuana in some form. An additional 31 percent of Texans support the legalization of medical marijuana. With the exception of older Republican men and law enforcement personnel, marijuana has won over pretty much every other demographic.
“Texas is going to be slow, but it’s going that way,” said Daron Shaw, who works as University of Texas professor and helped to administrate the survey. “In some ways the handwriting is on the wall, and it’s pretty clear. Public opposition is diminishing, and if the economic or tax arguments change, it’s hard to see what would keep pot from getting on the agenda.”
Earlier this week, Oklahoma voters approved medical marijuana by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. The new law will give physicians discretion to prescribe marijuana for any illness. Despite being massively outfunded by the opposition, medical marijuana was approved by a solidly red state.
“Public support for medical marijuana access is non-partisan,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said in a statement. “Even in a predominantly ‘red’ state like Oklahoma, it is the will of the voters to enact common sense, yet significant marijuana law reforms.”
With President Trump getting the picture and warming to the idea of embracing the marijuana industry, support of prohibition has become a fringe issue. The drug war is in its death throes, and Republicans will no longer surrender their precious political capital to prop up this massive public policy failure.