State of Texas Archives: on Drugs


MJ Hegar: Absolutely for legalizing marijuana, expunging records

Hegar said the ongoing ban on cannabis "only boosts cartel profits."

"I am absolutely for legalizing marijuana. I think we should be expunging the records of those who have been incarcerated for such.

Source: The Marijuana Moment on 2020 Texas Senate race Jun 8, 2020

Sema Hernandez: Legalize marijuana; would bring in tax revenue

Science has continually proven that the consumption of marijuana produces no adverse effects on individual health. Marijuana is an excellent pain reliever and can be used for a variety of medical purposes. I support the decriminalization and subsequent legalization of marijuana throughout the United States. No one should be thrown in jail for smoking a joint, and no cancer patient should be subject to prosecution for using marijuana to relieve pain. Legalization would bring in tax revenue.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website, Sema4Texas.com Jan 12, 2020

Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez: Supports the legalization of marijuana

As Senator, Cristina would support the legalization of marijuana, as well as efforts to address the long-term harm done in communities of color such as expunging records of those with low-level marijuana offenses.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website CristinaForTexas.com Dec 19, 2019

Beto O`Rourke: 1998 drunk driving: arresting officers say he tried to flee

The former police officer who arrested Beto O'Rourke for driving drunk in 1998, along with the sergeant who signed the incident report, both say they believe now what they reported at the time: that O'Rourke tried to leave the scene of the wreck he caused.

O'Rourke admits he was intoxicated and says there is no justification for his actions, but he has denied that he tried to flee. "Beto's DWI is something he has long publicly and openly addressed over the last 20 years at town halls, on the debate stage, during interviews and in Op-Eds, calling it a serious mistake for which there is no excuse," said an O'Rourke spokesman. "This has been widely and repeatedly reported on."

[The original police report asserted], "The defendant/driver then attempted to leave the scene. The [police officer] then turned on his over head lights to warn oncoming traffic & to try to get the defendant to stop. When I made contact with the driver, defendant was unable to be understood due to slurred speech."

Source: Texas Tribune on 2020 presidential hopefuls Apr 24, 2019

Beto O`Rourke: Long-time advocate for marijuana legalization

Q: Legalize or decriminalize marijuana?

Ted Cruz (R): Personally opposed to legalization, but states should choose for themselves.

Beto O'Rourke (D): Yes. Long-time legalization advocate. Sponsored bill to end federal prohibition.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Texas Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Ted Cruz: Opposed to marijuana legalization, but let states choose

Q: Legalize or decriminalize marijuana?

Ted Cruz (R): Personally opposed to legalization, but states should choose for themselves.

Beto O'Rourke (D): Yes. Long-time legalization advocate. Sponsored bill to end federal prohibition.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Texas Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Greg Abbott: More drug testing for unemployment insurance applicants

We write to you today in support of H.J. Res. 42, your legislation that would disapprove of the US Department of Labor's recent regulation regarding states' ability to drug test individuals who apply for unemployment insurance (UI).

Congress authorized the Labor Department to craft a rule that would provide states the option to drug test unemployment insurance applicants. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration drafted the rule too narrowly, undermining the intent of Congress and permitting drug testing in too few instances.

Drug testing UI applicants can help individuals suffering from substance abuse to access necessary care and treatment so they may re-enter the workforce as healthy and productive members of society. We believe this rule should be replaced with a new rule that allows increased flexibility for states to implement UI drug testing that best fits the needs of each state. We look forward to working with Congress on this issue going forward.

Source: 2018 Texas Governor campaign press release Feb 10, 2017

Ben Carson: Marijuana is a starter drug; keep barriers to hedonism

Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon in the field, told Fox News in 2014: "I think medical use of marijuana in compassionate cases certainly has been proven to be useful. But recognize that marijuana is what's known as a gateway drug. It tends to be a starter drug for people who move onto heavier duty drugs--sometimes legal, sometimes illegal--and I don't think this is something that we really want for our society. You know, we're gradually just removing all the barriers to hedonistic activity and you know, it's just, we're changing so rapidly to a different type of society and nobody is getting a chance to discuss it because, you know, it's taboo. It's politically incorrect. You're not supposed to talk about these things."
Source: PolitiFact Texas fact-checking on 2016 presidential hopefuls Oct 28, 2015

George Pataki: Let's see what happens in Colorado with legalization

Colorado voters in 2012 resoundingly approved a proposal legalizing recreational use of marijuana by adults. Some candidates say the federal government should crack down in states that have legalized adult possession. Other hopefuls say let the states experiment. Former New York Gov. George Pataki said in 2014: "I am not in favor of legalizing marijuana, but having said that I am a great believer that states are the laboratory of democracy." He added: "Let's see what happens" in Colorado.
Source: PolitiFact Texas fact-checking on 2016 presidential hopefuls Oct 28, 2015

Rick Santorum: Marijuana is a controlled substance for a reason

Colorado voters in 2012 resoundingly approved a proposal legalizing recreational use of marijuana by adults as did voters in Washington state. Two years later, voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. embraced similar changes. Some candidates say the federal government should crack down in states that have legalized adult possession.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum said in April that "Colorado is violating the federal law. And if we have controlled substances, they're controlled substances for a reason. The federal law is there for a reason, and the states shouldn't have the option to violate federal law. As Abraham Lincoln said, you know, states don't have the right to wrong."

Source: PolitiFact Texas fact-checking on 2016 presidential hopefuls Oct 28, 2015

Greg Abbott: Respond to the evil threat posed by drug cartels

When it comes to our state's responsibilities, our first and foremost obligation is to protect our citizens' safety. We cannot be naive to the threat posed by drug cartels, transnational gangs and human smuggling and traffic operations. In the face of such evil, we cannot respond with apathy, but resolve.

We will not fail my fellow Texans. We will do what the federal government has failed to do. We will secure our border.

Source: State of the State address to 2015 Texas Legislature Feb 17, 2015

Emily Sanchez: Legalize marijuana

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Never legalize marijuana"?

A: I support legalization of marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes.

Source: E-mail interview on Texas 2014 Senate race with OnTheIssues Sep 21, 2014

John Cornyn: Legal pot causes similar attitudes to other illegal drugs

Advocates of pot use note that 14 states have passed decriminalization laws, and 16 states and the District of Columbia permit the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Texas is not one of those states, and it is not likely to be one soon, said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).

"I would be surprised if it has much in the way of public support, which would be the biggest obstacle, since I doubt the members of the Texas Legislature would take this matter up and pass it," Cornyn said.

There is no companion legislation in the Senate, but Cornyn, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he would join House colleagues in opposing similar measures.

Cornyn said he worries that decriminalization, medical usage and removing marijuana laws from federal enforcement is a slippery slope "where a similar attitude would be embraced with regards to other illegal drugs and dangerous substances."

Source: The Weed Blog on 2014 Texas Senate race Jul 20, 2011

Elizabeth Ames Jones: Secure our borders against Mexican drug cartels

For politicians who have failed to secure our borders, the horrific violence perpetuated by Mexican drug cartels may just be a final wake-up call. We must take immediate action to secure our borders and ports of entry to stop the illegal entry of people, drugs, and dangerous contraband into our country.
Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, www.jonesfortexas.com Jul 17, 2011

Rick Perry: Criminalize "doctor-shopping" to obtain prescription opiates

Excerpts from Sponsor's Statement of Intent: The abuse of prescription drugs is a serious public health issue and the increasing diversion of prescription drugs is a cause for concern. One of the causes of diversion is doctor shopping-- where a patient actively seeks doctors who will prescribe certain types of medications, usually opiates, depressants, and stimulants. Fifteen other states currently have legislation that specifically addresses the problem. S.B. 158 creates criminal penalties for patients who visit multiple practitioners and do not disclose that they are already receiving controlled substances. In other words, a person commits an offense if they have intent to obtain controlled substances that are not medically necessary for the person using misrepresentation or concealment.

Legislative outcome:House conference report adopted on May 29, 2011; signed by Gov. Perry on June 17, 2011.

Source: Texas legislative voting records: SB158 Jun 17, 2011

Rick Perry: Fight cross-border violence as part of drug war

We should continue our investment in border security because the threat of cross-border violence has only grown, as the drug wars escalate. I don't raise the issue of border security as a criticism of our neighbors to the south, but to show our resolve and unity in the struggle, as they deal with a wave of violence unlike anything outside of the world's war zones.
Source: 2011 Texas State of the State Address Feb 8, 2011

Pete Gallego: Criminalize "doctor-shopping" to obtain prescription opiates

Excerpts from Sponsor's Statement of Intent: The abuse of prescription drugs is a serious public health issue and the increasing diversion of prescription drugs is a cause for concern. One of the causes of diversion is doctor shopping-- where a patient actively seeks doctors who will prescribe certain types of medications, usually opiates, depressants, and stimulants. Fifteen other states currently have legislation that specifically addresses the problem. S.B. 158 creates criminal penalties for patients who visit multiple practitioners and do not disclose that they are already receiving controlled substances. In other words, a person commits an offense if they have intent to obtain controlled substances that are not medically necessary for the person using misrepresentation or concealment.

Legislative outcome: Rep. Gallego co-sponsored the bill on Nov. 8, 2010, and voted to adopt House conference report on May 29, 2011; signed by Gov. Perry on June 17, 2011.

Source: Texas legislative voting records: SB158 Nov 8, 2010

Randy Weber: Keep marijuana possession criminalized

Q: Should the possession of small amounts of marijuana be decriminalized?

A: No.

Q: Do you support a ban on smoking in public places?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support a ban on the use of trans fats in restaurants?

A: No.

Q: Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders, such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?

A: Yes.

Source: Texas Congressional 2010 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2010

Rick Perry: Protect the border from drug traffickers

The best plan to secure our border involves intensive operations with federal, state and local officials working together to seal off common illegal crossings.

We have caught drug traffickers and human smugglers off guard and reduced crime in remote border regions.

That is why I ask you to fund a $100 million effort that will expand patrols, purchase new technology and protect the border from drug traffickers, human smugglers and other criminal thugs that seek to destroy our way of life.

Source: Texas 2007 State of the State address Feb 6, 2007

Joaquin Castro: Strengthen sentences for drug-related crimes

Source: Texas 2006 Congressional National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2006

Paul Sadler: Strengthen drug penalties; also strengthen rehabilitation

Source: Texas State 1998 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

Brian Babin: Mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs

Source: Texas Legislative 1996 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1996

Steve Stockman: AdWatch: Arrested for drug possession in 1977

Article entitled "Stockman traveled from aimless youth to halls of Congress; religion saved him from 'colorful' past":

The congressman said he was ticketed so often he had to spend a weekend in jail more than once. "I was out partying, just like you were or any other kid, and you'd get busted for a thing and you'd do a weekend in jail for a traffic violation," Stockman said. "So I may have been in jail a couple of times, two or three times." He said he could not remember exactly.

The Michigan Department of State keeps driver records only seven years, so Stockman's are no longer available. One of his jail weekends led to a drug charge. On Sept. 23, 1977, when Mr. Stockman was 20, he reported to the Madison Heights City Jail to serve two days. The records state that an officer "found, in doing a strip search, that Stockman had 3 Valium tablets 10mg each. Subject stated that his girlfriend had given them to him to take while serving his sentence." The charge was later dropped.

Source: Dallas Morning News AdWatch re: 2014 Texas Senate race Jun 11, 1995

  • The above quotations are from State of Texas Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Drugs.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Drugs:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Jan 29, 2021