Texas lawmakers are being overwhelmed by emails in support of marijuana penalty reductions, medical marijuana, and full legalization. Two bills in particular have been driving the massive 33,000 email response from Texans, both concerning decriminalization. The bills were filed late last year on the first day for when legislation could be submitted for the 2017 session.
Both Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy and Texas NORML have been coordinating the outreach efforts, and both have had people at the capitol on a near daily basis. They released a statement today about the email response. “We are happy to let you know that since November 2016 almost 33,000 Texans have emailed their legislators in our action alerts as pertains to House Bill 81. This is huge! It also means that some offices are getting an engagement literally as often as one every second.”
They added, “However, this means that we are reaching a saturation point. We have swayed many offices to our position. Our efforts have been a great success and is now on the verge of exhausting legislators and staff. Chairman Moody and many co-sponsors of HB 81 have requested the we slow our contacts so that we do not overshadow the issue and bill with advocacy. This also allows a period for advocates to rest so as to not tire out. This will be a long game to success. We will once again need these and similar efforts when HB 81 is sent to the full House for a vote.”
The next big push is expected to happen once HB 81 is scheduled by the Calendars Committee to be heard by the full House. It is not known when the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee will vote on the bill, though it is likely to pass given its strong support.