Four states, as well as Washington, DC, have now legalized marijuana consumption for recreational use, and a further 21 allow it for medicinal purposes under a panoply of state laws. Colorado, which became the first state to sell recreational marijuana in January 2014, sold around $600m-worth of recreational and medical weed over the first 11 months, raising $68m in taxes for the state.
San Antonio Supports Re-Legalizing Cannabis by holding their very first rally and march. We support decriminalizing small amounts of cannabis and the right for patients to have safe access to medicinal marijuana. We are tired of supporting the drug cartels and its high time we ended prohibition of nature’s remedy. Texans should be reaping the benefits from this new “budding” industry.
REMEMBER IT IS STILL ILLEGAL SO NO SMOKING AT THE RALLY OR MARCH. DON’T GIVE THEM A REASON TO ARREST YOU. WE DON’T ENCOURAGE ANY ACTS OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE.
Texas legislature meets every 2 years and they are in session until June 1st. There are 11 bills in the Tx legislature and a hearing took place for HB 2165/HB 507 last week. The State of Texas is making progress towards reforming the laws. We need all Texans to contact their State Senators and Representatives and tell them to support the following bills:
*HB507 / SB1417 – these bills would reduce possession of an oz or less of cannabis to a civil penalty, similar to a traffic ticket.
*HB 3785 / SB1339 – these bills would create a comprehensive medical cannabis program in Texas.
*HB837 – this bill would offer an affirmative defense for patients and caregivers caught with cannabis medicine and would protect Doctors so they can discuss medical cannabis with their patients
*HB2165 – this bill would fully repeal marijuana prohibition, removing all statues from Texas law.
TALKING POINTS when calling or writing to State Senators/Representatives:
*The United States incarcerates more than 2 million people, many of whom are jailed for drug offenses. Blacks make up more than 40 percent of the prison population, despite comprising less than 15 percent of the U.S. population as a whole, according to U.S. Census data. According to a 2013 analysis of arrest rates by the ACLU, blacks are 2.3 times more likely to be arrested than whites, even though both races consume marijuana at about the same rate.
*Save tax-funded resources for serious crime • State law enforcement officials report that there were 72,150 arrests or citations in Texas in 2012 for marijuana-related offenses. 97% of them were for marijuana possession. During the same year, nearly 90% of all burglaries — including home invasions — and 88% of all motor vehicle thefts went unsolved by law enforcement. Money spent enforcing current laws and arresting, jailing, and supervising people should instead be devoted to pursuing serious criminals.
*Harsh penalties are unpopular, costly, and unfair • A person found in possession of up to two ounces of marijuana faces up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. • Every Texas prisoner costs more than $20,000 in taxpayer money every year. Alaska, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, and 13 other states have already stopped jailing people for possession of small amounts of marijuana.
*Texas should eliminate collateral consequences of a criminal record • Indirect consequences for possession can be worse than the punishment and can last a lifetime.
*Young adults can find careers, new job prospects, housing options, and educational opportunities cut short because of a criminal record.
*Nearly half the U.S. population has tried marijuana, including our last three presidents. Those who get caught can have their dreams derailed after getting a criminal record. • Because minorities are more likely to be arrested or cited, these collateral consequences harm their futures the hardest.
*Marijuana is safer than alcohol; possession should not be criminalized under state law. Marijuana is less toxic, less addictive, and less harmful to the body. It does not contribute to violent and reckless behavior. Adults should not be criminalized or incarcerated for choosing to use the safer substance. (Sources: The Economist, Marijuana Policy project, Texas NORML, The New Jim Crow)
Where: Maverick Park 1000 Broadway St, San Antonio, Texas 78215
When: Sunday, May 3at 5:00pm – 8:00pm in CDT