Rec and MMJ legalization bills introduced in Texas

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In what could be the start of a string of post-2016-election ripple effects, a pair of cannabis legalization bills have been introduced in the Texas Legislature – one to allow medical marijuana and another to legalize adult use.

The bills may prove to be mostly symbolic in the end, given the legislature’s conservative makeup. But the fact that a pair of legalization measures were introduced Monday – less than a week after eight state cannabis ballot measures were approved by voters across the country – means industry watchers can expect similar attempts in other state legislatures around the United States.

Vermont and Rhode Island, for example, were widely expected to become the first state legislative bodies to approve recreational marijuana this past year, but both wound up stalling until at least 2017. Those are two states where rec could succeed next year, which would be a milestone because all adult-use state laws so far have been driven by voter-approved ballot measures versus lawmaker-introduced ordinances.

In Texas, Senate Joint Resolutions 17 and 18 were filed Monday, according to television station KHOU. And as supporters of the bill noted, Texas has no process for citizens or campaigns to place ballot measures before voters, which means any real cannabis law reforms would have to come from state lawmakers.