Holy smokes. A proposal in Texas looking to legalize weed on religious grounds has cleared its first hurdle. The Associated Press reports that Republican state Representative David Simpson, a Tea Party guy, argues that marijuana comes from God and therefore shouldn’t be banned by government. It’s what he calls the “Christian case” for legalization. And check this out, three wise men, er uhm, we mean three committee Democrats and two Republicans voted to support Simpson’s bill (HB 2165) earlier this week. It had stalled in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee for weeks, but apparently it passed 5-2—making the new bill eligible for consideration to reach the House floor before the legislative session ends June 1.
Nearly three out of five Texas voters (58%) support legalizing marijuana for adults and regulating it like alcohol, according to a statewide survey conducted by Public Policy Polling in September 2013. However Texas law currently makes no exceptions for pot—even for medical use. So the fact that the committee voted for this legislation is a fuckin’ miracle, right?
“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,” says Heather Fazio, Texas Political Director for the Marijuana Policy Project, in a statement.
“State officials are increasingly becoming fed up with the failed federal government policy of marijuana prohibition, and they’re taking action. Like most Americans, most Texans are ready for a more sensible, fiscally sound,” she continued.
Unlike most other states that have reformed marijuana laws, Texas does not have a citizen initiative process. When politicians in the state vote in favor of marijuana, that’s a big fuckin’ deal. The bill still has a long way to go. It has to pass a full House vote, then it goes on to the Senate, then the Governor. But it looks like lawmakers in the Lone Star State are starting to loosen up a little bit on weed.
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