July 26, 2018

A growing push to expand the availability of medical marijuana is taking place in conservative rural Texas, of all places, and the effects of the ongoing drive are likely to show up in the legislative session next year.

Voters in Oklahoma recently approved one of the most permissive medical-marijuana laws, allowing patients with state licenses to keep eight ounces in their homes and carry three ounces on with them. They can also possess up to 12 marijuana plants.

Texas, where marijuana is still thought of in many places as "hippie dope" from the 1960s, has been slow to embrace the concept of medical marijuana, and only approved it for limited conditions in the 2017 legislative session -- long after more than two dozen other states had embraced it for medical treatments.

Just as elusive may be whether many of Texas' statewide candidates will face each other in debates before the November general election, except for the U.S. Senate race where incumbent Republican Ted Cruz is actively promoting several face-offs with challenger Beto O'Rourke.

Similarly elusive are the details of what, if anything, took place when Houston-area U.S. Rep. Randy Weber met with accused Russian spy Maria Butina, among a group of Russian officials, in 2015. Butina was recently indicted on allegations she spied for Russia.

The rest of the political week: New skirmishes in court over DACA, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick pronounces so-called "red flag" legislation to restrict gun ownership to be DOA in the state Senate next year and how politics are playing out for Republican incumbents in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Go behind the headlines for a look at what's really going on at the Texas Capitol and in Washington. Join the conversation featuring the Chronicle's Austin Bureau Chief Mike Ward and Scott Braddock, editor of The Quorum Report, an acclaimed Texas political newsletter, with special guest Ryan PoppeTexas Public Radio's Capitol reporter.

Our sponsors this week: Texas Association of Counties and Lone Star Targeting.

Texas politics are entertaining but never boring, as this edition of the state's leading podcast about Lone Star politics, produced in collaboration with partner Texas Public Radio, shows. Listen in.


This episode is from Texas Take: The Podcast whose proprietor has full ownership and responsibility on its contents and artworks. It was shared using Castamatic, a podcast app for iPhone and iPad.