The Texas Democratic Party recently published their 2012 Texas Democratic Party Platform. Page 28 of the PDF shows the Texas Democrats formally endorsing marijuana decriminalization:
DECRIMINALIZATION OF MARIJUANA
Decriminalization of marijuana does not mean we endorse marijuana use, but it is only a call for wiser law enforcement and public health policy. Prohibition of marijuana abdicates the control of marijuana production and distribution to drug cartels and street gangs. Such prohibition promotes disrespect for
the law and reinforces ethnic and generational divides between the public and law enforcement.
Every year hundreds of thousands of Americans are arrested for marijuana possession violations – far more than all those arrested for violent crimes in America. Societal costs dealing with the war on drugs concerning marijuana exceeds 12 billion dollars annually. Since the war on drugs began 85% of the
arrests for marijuana have been for possession only.
Marijuana is no more dangerous than tobacco or alcohol. Recent polls show over 50% of Americans believe marijuana should be decriminalized. While arrests for marijuana since 1965 have been over 20 million citizens, marijuana is more prevalent than ever before.
There is no evidence that marijuana is a “gateway” drug leading to use of other more lethal drugs. 75% of citizens arrested for marijuana are under 30. Minorities account for a majority of those arrested for marijuana. Criminal conviction permanently scars a young citizen for life. Texas Democrats urges the President, the Attorney General and the Congress to support the passage of legislation to decriminalize the possession of marijuana and regulate its use, production, and sale as is done with tobacco and alcohol. We further urge the immediate decriminalization of possession and use of medical marijuana.
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa rightly says the war on drugs has failed, is racist in its application, bankrupts the state and funds violent cartels. He estimates Texas could save $75M per year by decriminalizing marijuana. Just last month, pro-legalization candidate Beto O’Rourke defeated eight term Democratic incumbent El Paso Representative Silvestre Reyes Tuesday in the Democratic primary for the 16th congressional district. One wouldn’t think of Texas being at the forefront of ending prohibition, but the Lone Star State bordering Mexico, it deals with the vicious realities of being on the front lines of the war on marijuana.
Weedist applauds the honest, truthful, and open dialogue on marijuana from Texas Democrats, which is still too rare from both Democrats and Republicans. The fact these Democrats are publicly calling on Obama and Holder to look at the human and financial costs of this failed policy should be applauded as well. Whereas it’s not a call for outright legalization, it’s another step forward in the wave of momentum that has been building recently.