The vast majority of Texans are supportive of legislation that would make marijuana legal in the state for a wide variety of treatments.
Medicinal cannabis in the Lone Star state is accessible via the Compassionate Use Program (CUP) administered by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Under the program, some physicians are authorised to prescribe low-THC medicines for a narrowly defined set of conditions – and only products that can be swallowed are allowed. Further complicating access is the very limited number of dispensaries in Texas, although that could soon change.
Texans are certainly ready for change if a recent survey by the researchers from the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston on public attitudes about marijuana are anything to go by.
The researchers found 82% of Texans are supportive of legislation that would legalize marijuana for broad medical use, and 67% approve legalizing marijuana for recreational use by people 21 and older.
“Attitudes about the use of marijuana have been evolving over the past few decades, and we found especially strong support for expanding the use of medical marijuana,” said Hobby School’s Renée Cross.
The support for expanding the use of medical marijuana runs across political divides:
- 73% of Republicans
- 93% of Democrats
- 79% of Independents
On the religious side of things, even born-again Christians – historically opposed to easing drug laws – are more on board with the idea these days, with 74% supporting medical marijuana.
Breaking down the overall 82% support figure, 54% of Texans opted for legislation where marijuana would be legal for medical and recreational use. 28% supported legislation under which marijuana would be legal for medical use only. In the 82% figure, 56% strongly supported favourable medical legislation and 26% somewhat supported it.
As for the remaining 18%, they were happy with the current legislative status quo.
The strongest support came from participants with a household income of less than $50,000 (85%), and the weakest in the $100,000 + bracket (78%). Support was pretty even regardless of educational attainment.
1,200 Texans aged 18 and older participated in the survey. A more detailed summary with commentary can be found here and the full report here.