With November’s midterm elections around the corner, or as NORML calls them the “marijuana midterms,” some states carry more weight than others and therefore there is more responsibility on people to get out and vote.
Texas in one such state. Why? Pete Sessions, chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee, is up for re-election in Texas’s 32nd congressional district, which includes northern Dallas and the surrounding suburbs.
As chairman of the House Rules Committee, Rep. Sessions has prevented up to three dozen cannabis amendments from reaching a vote on the House floor. In his prohibitionist elegance, he has has called cannabis advocates “merchants of addiction.” Sessions is not related to Attorney General Jeff Sessions except for their shared disdain for cannabis.
Now, in the traditionally red state of Texas, Sessions is facing a formidable challenge from a civil rights attorney and former linebacker with the Tennessee Titans: Colin Allred, who supports medical cannabis and decriminalizing marijuana possession.
As of early October, Allred and Sessions were neck and neck in a New York Times/Siena College poll.
Another important race in Texas is for a US Senate between Democrat Beto O’Rourke and Republican Ted Cruz, who are also close in the polls. If O’Rourke wins, it will be the first time since 1993 that a Democrat has held a US Senate seat in Texas .
Republican support for pro-cannabis measures has increased because of early organizing at the local level, pointed out the Cannabis Wire, and because of religious groups who supported medical cannabis having seen what it had done for patients.
While Texas has a medical marijuana program, the Compassionate Use Act, it covers only one medical condition: intractable epilepsy. Polls show that up to 83% of Texans support medical marijuana.
So, if you’re from Texas or know someone from Texas, the time to get out and vote is now.