A Republican holds the seat and a Democrat looks to take over following the upcoming elections, but marijuana may be a deal-breaker for the Texas Senate seat competitors.
Incumbent Senator Ted Cruz supports state rights regarding the legalization of marijuana, but for Texas his personal support stops at the state line.
Meanwhile, challenger Congressman Beto O’Rourke has created a platform strongly hinged on the fact that he supports marijuana legalization. O’Rourke even goes so far as to note he hopes to see changes on the federal level for marijuana legalization and also hopes to see records expunged that are related to marijuana convictions.
Cruz counters O’Rourke’s strong support of marijuana legalization by saying the Congressman hopes to see all drugs legalized. Meanwhile, O’Rourke has shown his true support by sponsoring legislation that protects those with marijuana convictions, including a bill to repeal a law that requires a license be revoked if the license holder has a drug offense conviction.
As if the debate was not heated enough, country legend Willie Nelson threw his hat into political candidate support in a big way. Nelson invited O’Rourke to his 45th annual Fourth of July Picnic, allowing the candidate to address the audience and even welcoming O’Rourke’s participation in the songs that rounded out the night’s performance, including “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.”
The results for Nelson and O’Rourke have both been mixed, similar to the reaction of the audience when O’Rourke took the stage at the picnic. This shows the warring opinions of the Texas population as a whole, with the potential election results uncertain.
Control of the US Senate could hinge on races like the one in Texas, and the government and the US are watching this back-and-forth struggle closely. Certain communities, the Hispanic community, in particular, may be aligning behind O’Rourke. Their support comes from the fact that a majority of Texas drug charges are against those of Hispanic descent.
This will make a difference at poll time. It will be worthwhile to see just how far O’Rourke’s vocal support of marijuana legalization goes at that time.