Since 2012, 19 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam have legalized marijuana for recreational use — something 55% of Texans have said they either support or strongly support, according to a new Dallas Morning News-University of Texas at Tyler poll.
And the numbers are even higher for medical use: 72% of those surveyed said they would either support or strongly support the legalization of marijuana in Texas to help treat illnesses, a move the Texas Legislature helped bolster last year when it expanded the state’s medical marijuana program to include all forms of post-traumatic stress disorder and cancer.
Though marijuana remains illegal under federal law, Rhode Island became the 19th state to fully legalize the drug in May, and more states, including Missouri and South Dakota, will vote on whether to legalize recreational use this November.
Many efforts at the state level reflect growing popular support for legalization and decriminalization among voters, but some legislators and governors, especially in red states, remain hesitant.
After a May survey with similar results, Gov. Greg Abbott said his position on marijuana legalization has not changed beyond what he’s proposed in the past — reducing the criminal penalty for marijuana possession to a Class C misdemeanor, but not legalizing the drug.