Texans say enough is enough, and it's time to let residents sit back and take a toke if they want.
58% of Texans, according to a new poll by the Marijuana Policy Project, think marijuana should be legal and regulated like alcohol, and more than 60% support removing criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of pot.
"I think that Texans in particular would much rather have this commodity controlled by legitimate businesses, and not be drug cartels," said Morgan Fox, a spokesman for the MPP, which is a national organization which fights for marijuana legalization.
The states of Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana fro adults last fall, and there is no indication of any of the societal problems which opponents of legalization warn would occur with legalization.
"The poll shows that 58% of Texans support legalizing marijuana for adults and regulating it similar to alcohol," Fox said.
Despite recent changes giving police officers the discretion to simply write a ticket for possession of small amounts of marijuana, Texas continues to have some of the country's toughest marijuana laws in the country. Possession of up to two ounces of marijuana can get an individual a year in jail, and penalties are upped under special circumstances, like possession of marijuana near a school.
Fox says Texas police officers have more important things to do.
"Law enforcement officials' time would be better spent addressing violent crimes instead of adults simply possessing marijuana," he said. "No adult should face potentially life altering penalties for using a product which is significantly less harmful than alcohol."
There is no movement in the Texas Legislature toward legalization of marijuana, and measures that would even lighten the penlties have died in committee.