Large number of Republicans support marijuana legalization

Jan 27, 2017

Credit Chuck Grimmett / Creative Commons

A surprising number of Republicans support legalization of marijuana.

Quartz reports showed that 60 percent of Americans support legalization of marijuana, including 42 percent of Republicans, some of whom live in conservative states or even serve in their state’s legislature.

Texas is among five states with current marijuana reform bills that have been introduced for consideration in upcoming sessions.

“And, it is worth noting that Republicans, who control state legislatures in most of those states, are behind the push,” writes Maureen Meehan wrote in the Jan. 16 issue of High Times.

And according to a 2015 Pew Research survey, 63 percent of Republican millennials believe marijuana should be legalized, but according to Quartz, even older conservatives are getting onboard.

One such proponent, Ann Lee, a long-time Republican, used to believe cannabis was a dangerous gateway drug until her son became a paraplegic at the age of 28. After reading about cannabis’ therapeutic effects for nerve pain, she became convinced it should be legalized and she believes that prohibition contradicts the Republican principles of small government, fiscal responsibility and personal liberty.

Now she works with other like-minded Republicans, like Jason Vaughn, a religious Texas cannabis activist and author of an April 2015 essay entitled, “A Pro-Life Defense of Marijuana Legalization,” in which he argues that legalizing marijuana is linked to his pro-life stance in that criminalization of the drug leads to more crime and death.

Another Texan, Republican representative David Simpson wrote in an op-ed entitled, “The Christian case for drug law reform” that God made marijuana so he didn’t see it as a mistake that government needs to fix.

He introduced a reform bill to legalize weed in The Lone Star State in 2015 that was defeated by his fellow lawmakers.