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On pot and potties

Two more poll results to note.

Opposition to legal marijuana is dropping in Texas, with fewer than one in five respondents to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll saying they are against legalization in any form.

Support for marijuana only for medical use has dropped over the last two years, but support for legalization for private use — both in small amounts or in amounts of any size — has grown since the pollsters asked in February 2015.

“We’ve seen this movie before on a couple of social issues,” said Daron Shaw, a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin and co-director of the poll. He thinks the changes in Texas have more to do with shifting attitudes than with news of legalization in other states. “There’s a little bit of normalization. I don’t think this is a states-as-laboratories issue. Voters don’t care about that kind of stuff.”

Overall, 83 percent of Texans support legalizing marijuana for some use; 53 percent would go beyond legal medical marijuana to allow possession for any use, the poll found. Two years ago, 24 percent of Texans said no amount of marijuana should be legal for any use and another 34 percent said it should be allowed only for medical use.

[…]

Most poll respondents — 54 percent — said Texans should use the public restrooms based on their birth gender, while 31 percent said they should base their choice on their gender identities.

State lawmakers are considering legislation that would require people to use facilities in public buildings that match their ”biological sex” but would not regulate which restrooms transgender and other people should use in privately owned buildings. Republicans are more likely to agree with that position than Democrats: 76 percent said transgender people should use restrooms that match their birth gender, while 51 percent of Democrats said gender identity should be the standard.

Neither group is convinced this is an important issue, however. Overall, 39 percent of Texans said it’s important for the Legislature to pass a bathroom law, while 51 percent said it’s not important. While 24 percent rated passing a law “very important,” 38 percent said it is “not at all important.”

“The proponents of [Senate Bill 6] are onto something in saying that the basic underlying impulse in a conservative state like Texas is to think that bathroom access should be determined by birth gender,” Henson said.

“What seems to be a big part of the debate right now is whether the Legislature should be spending a lot of time on this issue,” he said.

Again, there’s a partisan split, but it’s not enormous: 44 percent of Republicans and 37 percent of Democrats said the issue is important; 49 percent of Republicans and 50 percent of Democrats said it’s not an important issue.

“On most social issues, when they come to live-and-let-live, when you talk about the government mandating something, conservatives get uncomfortable about that,” Shaw said. “When it comes to letting people live, Republicans are fine with that.”

On the first point, you can see why Kim Ogg is unlikely to care too much what Dan Patrick thinks about her new pot diversion policy. On the second point, you can see that while a lot of people may agree with Dan Patrick, most of them don’t care all that much about the bathroom issue. Which has been a big problem for him all along, overcoming the “there are more important things to deal with” argument. The good news is that he only has a limited amount of time to do that. The bad news is that we know he’ll never give up, so as long as he’s in office this will be something he pushes for. Changing minds and changing Lite Guvs are our two best options for countering him.

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8 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    What would it take to get pot legalization on the ballot in Texas? Everything I have seen so far indicates that it would pass.

  2. Paul A Kubosh says:

    It would take legislative action. Not enough Pot heads in the legislature to put it to a vote. Although we do have a lot of politicians who have kids that smoke a lot of pot. So maybe by legalizing pot they can start working on the stigma associated with being a pot head.

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    Paul,

    Unless you are prepared to execute all drug users and sellers (suburban teens, too), like Duterte is doing in the Phillipines, the Drug War will continue to be a loser. This is an issue that separates the true fiscal conservatives from social conservatives. It also, coincidentally, puts our pro-Mexico, open borders folks at odds with themselves. Legalizing pot would hurt Mexico…hurt Mexican farmers, hurt the cartels, and hurt undocumented immigrants who just want to start their life in America with some smuggling money in their pocket. Legalization will hurt all of that. Normally, social conservatives would cheer sticking it to Mexico, but curiously, not on this issue.

    https://reason.com/blog/2017/02/03/legalizing-marijuana-could-hurt-mexican

  4. paul a kubosh says:

    “Unless you are prepared to execute all drug users and sellers (suburban teens, too), like Duterte is doing in the Phillipines, the Drug War will continue to be a loser.”

    I reject that premise. I don’t believe that at all. It will soon be a worse crime to drive without $20,000 worth of insurance than it will be to Smoke Pot.

    “It also, coincidentally, puts our pro-Mexico, open borders folks at odds with themselves.”

    For me legalizing Pot has nothing to do with open borders, drugs wars or anything else of that nature. It has more to do with us as a Society saying that since we can’t control ourselves and our Children from drug abuse than lets just legalize it.

    However, it really comes as no surprise that society is heading this way. I take a look at High School sporting events and Academic meets. So many kids competing and so many absentee parents who just can’t put the effort in to stay involved in their kids lives.

    Pot is a gateway drug for some people of that their is no doubt. I see the legalization of marijuana as nothing more than people in charge giving up on themselves and their children.
    Cowards who are not prepared to make the hard decisions.

    Next thing they will tell us is that they were born to be inclined to abuse drugs.

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    Paul,

    No on is making an argument that minors should be permitted to possess or use pot. We discriminate (rightfully) against minors on all sorts of issues, because they are minors. No state that has gone for legalization has made it legal for minors to use or possess. That argument is a red herring. Schools will continue to be “drug free zones.” Kids will still be punished who are caught with pot. In short, the war on drugs will continue unabated for the minor population.

    The other basic issue is, legalization is not the same thing as approval. You can go get hammered at a strip club as long as you prove you are not a minor (with a photo ID–racist and discriminatory against people of color, by the way). That doesn’t mean government or even society approves of that, it just means that government and society aren’t willing to send police to arrest you for drinking and watching naked or nearly naked dance for your amusement.

    Best to leave the morals and virtue policing to the Muslims. They have the best virtue police, don’t they folks?

  6. paul a kubosh says:

    I don’t know off of the top of my head any criminal law that we pass that isn’t moral based.

    Malum prohibitum (plural mala prohibita, literal translation: “wrong [as or because] prohibited”) is a Latin phrase used in law to refer to conduct that constitutes an unlawful act only by virtue of statute, as opposed to conduct that is evil in and of itself, or malum in se.

    As to:
    “Best to leave the morals and virtue policing to the RADICAL Muslims. They have the best virtue police, don’t they folks?” (emphasis mine)

    You are not wrong there.

  7. Bill Daniels says:

    No criminal law that isn’t morality based? How about speed limits. 60mph, legal. 61mph….you have committed a crime. Nothing inherently immoral about that, and it isn’t even a real safety issue, just a crime because the law says it is. If we said, driving too fast for conditions, based on safety concerns, THAT might be a law based in morality.

  8. paul a kubosh says:

    Bill,

    Your analogy is just wrong. Speed limits in Texas are whatever is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances then existing. The speed limit signs are nothing more than Prima Facia evidence of what is not reasonable and prudent under the circumstances than existing. All Prima Facia speed limits that are not State Mandated Speed limits are the result of a traffic engineering study. In nearly 25 years of representing people on class C misdemeanors I can say that I have never seen any Police Officer write a ticket for one mile an hour over the speed limit. The reason that is the case is because going 61 mph is just not against the law.

    As far as traffic laws not being Moral laws I would tell you that my experience dealing with 500 to 700 people per week is different. The Moral decision to intentionally drive at a dangerous speed, cut people off in traffic, change lanes not in safety, etc. may not rise to the level of say assault or homicide but don’t kid yourself it is a choice. That choice has destroyed many lives. Just remember how many times you or I have sped through traffic to get somewhere because we were late. ?? What if someone had hit their brakes causing us to hit them because we were going to fast? The laws are their to control peoples conduct when driving the automobile down a freeway. When we violate them the consequences can be life changing. Think of all the lives that have been destroyed because people have made a choice to violate traffic laws.

    You and I agree on alot of stuff. However, on this issue we will never agree. Have a good night and I am through with this thread. So you get to have the last word. 🙂