Texas Residents Support Gambling and Marijuana, Says Recent Poll

Residents of Bexar County, Texas, who participated in the Bexar Facts-KSAT-San Antonio 2021 Q1 poll, showed strong support for gambling and the legalization of marijuana. More than 60% of the responders supported both gambling and legalization of recreational use of marijuana.

Poll Participants Show Strong Support for Gambling and Marijuana

Multiple attempts for gambling expansion and legalization of recreational marijuana use in Texas have so far failed. However, Bexar County residents have shown strong support for the two initiatives, according to the results of a new poll, released by KSAT last week. The Bexar Facts-KSAT-San Antonio 2021 Q1 poll was completed via phone and email from March 23 to March 29. In total, 618 Bexar County residents participated in the poll, which was completed in English and Spanish.

Based on those results, more than 60% of Bexar County residents showed support for both gambling and recreational marijuana use. Although multiple attempts for both proposals have failed, now, in light of the economic impact brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the legislature may consider them as an additional source of tax revenue.

Support for Gambling Expansion in Texas

When asked about legalizing and taxing gambling for adults in Texas, 37% of the poll participants said that they strongly support the proposal. Furthermore, an additional 26% said that they somewhat support the proposal. In total, this translates to 63% of poll participants supporting gambling in Texas. In contrast, only 32% of the participants have opposed the measure, while 5% responded that they do not know.

Currently, Texas offers several forms of gambling such as horse race betting, state lottery, and bingo. Additionally, there are three casinos, which are located in El Paso, Livingston, and Eagle Pass. Those casinos are run by federally recognized Indian tribes.

Last month, legislation was filed by Rep. John Kuempel backing a proposal for gambling expansion. The proposal calls for the creation of “destination resorts”. Four resorts would be located within large metropolitan areas, and one in San Antonio.

Legalization of Marijuana Still en Route

Focusing on the legalization and taxing of recreational use of marijuana, we see once again strong support by Bexar County residents. According to the poll, 42% of the responders said that they strongly support the proposal. Furthermore, 23% of the participants said that they somewhat support it. In contrast, residents who responded that they strongly oppose the proposal were 24%. Additionally, 8% of the poll participants said that they somewhat oppose the legalizing and taxing of recreational use of marijuana.

Back in 2015, Texas passed the “Compassionate Use” law. The law, which came into effect in 2019, allowed the use of medical low-THC cannabis for patients diagnosed with seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, terminal cancer, or an incurable neurodegenerative disease.

In 2019, the state’s legislature tried passing a proposal, calling for the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana. However, that proposal failed. Currently, more than 20 bills, proposing the use of small amounts of recreational marijuana by adults are a part of this year’s legislative session.

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