The debate started on Wednesday when, for the first time ever, the party’s platform committee passed an amendment declaring that “Texans should have legal access to cannabis as a controlled narcotic prescribed by a physician.” But on Thursday night, as delegates finalized the platform language, the amendment was removed, replaced with softer language in favor of medica marijuana research. Predictably, the change didn’t satisfy anyone, and both supporters and opponents brought the issue to the convention floor on Saturday, giving all of the party’s delegates an opportunity to weigh in on prohibition.
Ultimately, the opponents of medical marijuana won, and the party voted to strike the medical marijuana research plank from the party platform, although they did vote to include an amendment supporting the legalization of hemp products. “We got the information out there, and we got some good feedback, especially on the research side,” said Zoe Russell, the assistant director for Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition, a Texas-based advocacy group that led the push for the legalization amendment. “For the next go around, we’ll be more prepared to have better language, more specific language, that clarifies the ways that people use medical cannabis.”