The recent Texas legislative session yielded small results when it came to marijuana reform, and now one group is aiming in another direction for better reform policies.

According to a report from Marijuana Moment, Ground Game Texas is a new coalition that seeks to bring important issues that have been overlooked by legislators directly to the ballot for the people to vote on.

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“We’re not waiting for politicians to make change,” Ground Game Texas said. “We will work to put popular policies on the ballot and engage voters on the issues.”

“Progressive ideas—a $15 minimum wage, expanding Medicaid, legalizing marijuana—are popular ideas,” says Ground Game Texas. “We need to lead with the progressive policies that cross political boundaries.”

On May 31, the Texas Legislature sent HB 1535 to Governor Abbott's desk for his signature. At this time, Governor Abbott has not yet signed or vetoed the bill, which would expand Texas' Compassionate Use program by allowing the definition of low THC cannabis to rise from .5% to 1%. The bill also expands eligibility to more Texans who wish to use medical marijuana.

In the past, I spoke with the Executive Director of the Psychadelic Club, Joey Gallager, who was also a canvasser for the Decriminalize Denver campaign. Mr. Gallager informed me that in order to get initiative 301 on the ballot in Denver, canvassers had to collect 6,000 signatures. Not only was the initiative placed on the ballot, but in 2019, Denver became the first city to decriminalize psilocybin, aka psychedelic mushrooms.

When speaking with Joey about how to enact change, he stated:

“We’re all about education. We firmly believe social change precedes political change, despite what politicians and lobbyists will tell you.”

By bringing awareness and going door-to-door, Ground Game Texas seeks to take the same route with reform by placing these issues on the ballot to be voted on directly by the communities it will affect.

From what I learned in Denver and from Mr. Gallagher, the key to decriminalizing marijuana and psychedelics is education.

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