Steeped in what has become a hotly contested midterm election season, organizations and cannabis activists are helping steer individuals toward making their votes count.
However, not all midterms are created equal, hence the importance of NORML's recent "Smoke the Vote" educational campaign.
If you’re reading this and voting in Texas, or know someone who is, listen up.
Texas Republican and House member, Pete Sessions, is the chairman of the powerful US House Rules Committee, which has the power to dictate what makes it to a congressional vote and what doesn’t. Sessions explains on his own website: “The Rules Committee assignment has allowed me to use my experience and personal values to influence every piece of legislation before it reaches the House floor in a responsible, reform-minded manner.”
As such, Pete Sessions has single-handedly blocked roughly three-dozen marijuana amendments from being considered on the House floor over the past several years, according to Marijuana Moment.
But there’s hope: Cannabis business interests in Texas are making a late push to unseat Sessions.
The Texas Cannabis Industry Association (TCIA) is trying to raise awareness, and money, in the Lone Star state as they head into the final weeks of the campaign. They are using digital ads and organizing volunteers to knock on doors to increase voter turnout.
A statement from TCIA published by the Cannabis Wire called Sessions’ record on cannabis and other issues “old-fashioned bigotry.”
Rob Kampia, the former head of Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), one of the nation’s largest and oldest pro-legalization groups, was helping to raise money for the campaign to unseat Sessions (no relation to Attorney General Jeff Sessions) but his efforts have not been wildly successful.
Even with that setback, polls in Texas have Sessions and Democratic contender, Colin Allred, in a tight race.
"It’s hard to say how much each candidate’s position on cannabis will tilt the scales in November, but what is known is that a bipartisan majority of Texans side with Allred when it comes to marijuana reform," writes Marijuana Moment's Kyle Jaeger . "A 2017 survey found “83 percent of Texans support legalizing marijuana for some use,' for example"
So, if you’re in Texas or have friends who vote in Texas, let them know how important getting rid of Pete Sessions has become. The man must be voted out.