Poll: Two-thirds of Texans approve of legalization to fund education

Published Feb 1, 2021 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / HighGradeRoots

According to the latest poll, 2 out of every 3 Texans support cannabis legalization to increase funding for the education of grades 1-12. The survey included interviews with 1,034 adult Texans and its aim was to gauge public opinion on a range of different education-related topics, with one question asking whether or not they’d support legalization over other measures that could be used to help fund education.

The breakdown

64% of respondents answered in favor of one proposal, in particular, to legalize cannabis and use to profits to fund education, while 35% opposed the idea. There was also, however, three other more warmly accepted proposals including:

  • 78% agreed with placing a tax on vaping products and devices
  • 77% were partial to an increase in tobacco taxes
  • 66% liked the idea of legalizing and taxes online gambling

There were several other ideas that were also pitched to participants but only one was able to land perfectly in line with legalizing cannabis, and it presented the option of an increase in alcohol tax. The rest were ranked as follows:

  • 50% in favor of a state-corporate tax increase
  • 46% in favor of introducing a brand-new sugar tax on sweet beverages
  • 36% in favor of a hotel occupancy tax hike
  • 21% in favor of motor vehicle sale and rental tax increases
  • 18% in favor of a regular sales tax increase
  • 18% in favor of a tax increase on motor fuels

In the end, researchers wanted to find out how parents felt, as they are the ones who would be directly impacted by the incoming revenue, and the exact percentage in that group alone answered in favor of cannabis legalization. Approximately ½ of Republicans and ¾ of democrats are also in favor of legalization if it means an easier way to fund education.

How much money could be made?

Most Texans appear to agree that we should be legalizing a Texas marijuana industry to bolster funds that are much needed in education, and that’s a really great thing because there is a lot of money that could be made by this proposal. Some estimates place annual revenue potential for the state at approximately $1.1 billion bi-annually, and that is if the region chooses to adopt a model that is similar to the one in Colorado.

How likely is it to happen?

Governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak, promised during a State of the State address that his forthcoming budget proposal would guarantee that cannabis tax revenue would funnel directly into the education sector, a move that would help to meet the needs of students both during and after the pandemic. Unfortunately, passing any kind of green reform in Texas is challenging, with Republican blockers consistently getting in the way.

Admittedly, members from both chambers have come forward to say that they expect marijuana reform measures for Texas to come to pass. They’ll likely just be a lot less financially beneficial than predicted because they are unlikely to follow the loose restrictions that are found in Colorado. Comprehensive regulation might come later, but for now, the state, its government, and people seem to be heading in the right direction.

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