Texas attorney general candidate Lee Merritt calls for cannabis legalization

Nationally recognized civil rights attorney Lee Merritt is running for Texas attorney general as a Democrat. - @MerrittForTexas
Nationally recognized civil rights attorney Lee Merritt is running for Texas attorney general as a Democrat.

Another Democratic candidate for Texas attorney general is making it clear in no uncertain terms that he wants marijuana legalized in the state.

In a late-December tweet, nationally recognized civil rights attorney Lee Merritt said he supports cannabis legalization and wants to see it done in manner that "rebuilds black and brown communities" disproportionately affected by drug incarcerations.

"Legalizing cannabis in Texas is going to be economically beneficial for the entire state, but we must do it right," Merritt tweeted. "We must do it in a way that is equitable and rebuilds black and brown communities destroyed by the past 50 years of the so-called 'war on drugs.'"

Merritt is among the highest-profile Democratic challengers to current Attorney General Paxton, a Republican who's been plagued by a 2015 securities fraud indictment and a reported FBI probe into claims that he abused his office.

Merritt, who recently picked up the endorsement of powerful progressive group Texas Organizing Project, isn't alone in supporting broad cannabis reform. Democratic AG candidate Joe Jaworski, the former mayor of Galveston, has called marijuana legalization one of his top four priorities.

The 2022 race's Democratic field also includes Rochelle Garza, a former American Civil Liberties Union attorney, and Mike Fields, who once served as a GOP judge on the Harris County Criminal Court, according to the Texas Tribune.

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