Cannabis victory for Texas Republican
Arguing that God gave humankind marijuana, and that its use should therefore not be prohibited, Republican State Representative David Simpson, above, this week won clear support for his full marijuana legalisation bill.
According to this report, the tea party stalwart has repeatedly championed what he calls the “Christian case” for legalisation.
You can hear Simpson present his theological case here.
Simpson’s bill (HB 2165) languished for weeks before the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.
Then three committee Democrats and two Republicans surprisingly voted to support it on Wednesday, and it passed 5-2.
That makes Simpson’s bill eligible for consideration to reach the House floor before the legislative session ends on June 1, although that’s still highly unlikely.
State law currently makes no exceptions even for medical marijuana, making outright legalisation unthinkable.
Still, advocates hailed the committee vote as “unprecedented progress” for Texas cannabis rights.
Nearly three out of five Texas voters (58 percent) support making marijuana legal for adults and regulating it like alcohol, according to a statewide survey conducted by Public Policy Polling in September 2013.
Four states have adopted laws that regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol. Two of them, Colorado and Washington, have established regulated systems of marijuana cultivation and sales.
Alaska and Oregon are in the process of implementing similar systems.
Heather Fazio, Texas Political Director for the Marijuana Policy Project said:
Marijuana prohibition’s days are numbered in the Lone Star State. Texas voters recognize that punishing adults for consuming a substance that is safer than alcohol is a waste of law enforcement resources and an affront to individual liberty. It appears most of the committee members agree.
State officials are increasingly becoming fed up with the failed federal government policy of marijuana prohibition, and they’re taking action.