Four more states are likely to legalize cannabis this year. Texas isn't one of them.

The chief roadblock is the state's powerful lieutenant governor, who controls the Texas Senate.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been a longtime opponent of legal weed in Texas. - Wikimdia Commons / Gage Skidmore
Wikimdia Commons / Gage Skidmore
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been a longtime opponent of legal weed in Texas.
Despite a high-profile defeat for a proposed medical marijuana proposal in South Carolina last week, four more states look likely to green light some form of legal cannabis before the end of the year, MJBiz reports.

Rhode Island appears poised to legalize recreational weed, while Delaware, Kansas and North Carolina have a "moderate to strong chance of passing bills" to significantly ease restrictions this year, the publication reports. Delaware's proposal would legalize cannabis for recreational use, while lawmakers in Kansas and North Carolina are considering proposals approving medical use.

Despite the recent decriminalization victory in Austin, the Lone Star State isn't on MJBiz's list. First, the Texas Legislature won't convene again until January. And, second, there are few indications Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the powerful Republican who controls the Texas Senate, has changed his opinion on legal weed.

Patrick in 2019 delivered on a promise to kill a bill already approved by the Texas House to lower pot penalties in the state. During the 2021 session that expanded Texas' limited medical marijuana program, the lieutenant governor delayed the widely supported bill's final approval.

"It really rests on his shoulders," Houston Chronicle Austin bureau reported Cayla Harris told public radio program the Texas Standard.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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