After years of misguided state drug policies, it appears that some lawmakers at the Capitol have finally begun to “see the light” on Marijuana. Here’s more from Kevin Reece of KHOU News Houston …
Calling it “a gift from God”, a Republican state lawmaker has introduced a bill to completely legalize marijuana possession and marijuana use in the state of Texas.
“I don’t advocate the irresponsible use of anything,” said State Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview). “But it’s a plant God made, he didn’t make a mistake when he made it, and government doesn’t need to fix it.”
Monday, Simpson introduced HB 2165, which he calls “a comprehensive repeal of all marijuana or cannabis offenses.”
“First of all I said thank God that somebody is speaking out as a true Republican,” said Ann Lee the founder and executive director of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition.
“It’s freedom. Freedom to do what you think is best. The government shouldn’t stand in the way,” said Lee a Republican who became a convert to medical marijuana use after her son suffered a severe spinal cord injury in the 1990’s and said that marijuana was the only solution to his constant pain.
HB 2165 was also applauded by more liberal groups like the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws, who agree with Simpson that pot shouldn’t be a government’s concern.
While there have been previous efforts, HB 2165 is unique in that Simpson is finally asking for full legalization of marijuana, and that it has garnered unprecedented support. Of course this still doesn’t mean that Simpson’s bill, essentially swinging the marijuana door wide open, is likely to pass. But it may create the space needed for other bills to make some progress.
And that’s just progress at the state level. Less than a week after Rep. Simpson’s state bill, 3 Senators have also filed a bill to decriminalize marijuana at the national level. Senators Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Rand Paul unveiled the legislation on March 10th, that would end the confusing patchwork of state laws surrounding the criminal punishment, distribution and sale of cannabis in its various forms.
With such impressive momentum at both the state and federal level, Texans shouldn’t be surprised to see some changes in the laws which govern marijuana soon.
Off the Kuff has more.