Decriminalization and Marijuana
Research and attitudes toward the use of medicinal and recreational marijuana are changing and states are moving toward legalization even though it remains classified as a Class 1 drug at the federal-level. However, in many states, including Texas, marijuana is still illegal and carries severe criminal penalties primarily for brown and black communities. The state of Texas incarcerates more people of color for small amounts of marijuana than in most other states. At the same time, Oklahoma and New Mexico have legalized it causing millions of Texans to travel to these states for recreational purposes.
A majority of Americans support the repeal of federal prohibition on marijuana. In Congress, I will vote for the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE) which would remove cannabis as a “scheduled” drug under the Controlled Substances Act. The MORE Act would also require federal courts to expunge convictions for cannabis-related offenses and allow re-sentencing for individuals with federal convictions and includes funding for social equity programs in communities impacted by enforcement of old drug laws. I will work with the Texas legislators to push for decriminalize marijuana and work to expunge criminal records for Texans who have been jailed for non violent crimes. This has created an economic burden on many Texans in rural households and disproportionately affected people of color. By redirecting critical resources, law enforcement can focus on more serious offenders and the criminal gang elements which promote human trafficking and import opiods.
Marijauna has proven, I also support investments in research that will enable the Department of Veterans Affairs to assess the efficacy of prescribing marijuana to veterans where it makes sense in lue of more addictive pharmaceuticals like opioids. Many states have marijuana programs for veterans. I will support legislation like the Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act which would allow doctors at the VA to prescribe cannabis to veterans in states that have established state-legal medical cannabis programs and would direct the VA to conduct research into the safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis usage by veterans. I also support the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act which is a bipartisan bill that would require the VA to conduct clinical trials into the therapeutic potential of cannabis for veterans.
In addition, I will work on legislation that allows marijuana to be legal nationally allowing all states to benefit from growing marijuana and creating millions of new jobs in the agriculture sector. I also support the SAFE Banking Act, which would enable cannabis firms to use banking services and will work with farmers, ranchers and university researchers to develop regenerative agriculture technology and invest at the Federal level to ensure it is successful across the nation. We can have sound fiscal policy while growing the economy and expanding good paying jobs in the agriculture sector in Texas and throughout the nation.