Marijuana Legalization Bill Gets OK From Texas House Committee

Marijuana legalization may soon occur in Texas. A bill requesting approval for full pot legalization on “religious grounds” has passed a government hurdle many felt was unlikely.

Texas Republican State Representative David Simpson supports marijuana legalization and is championing the bill. The Longview area representative has argued that because marijuana comes from God and therefore should not be subject to a government ban. Representative David Simpson is considered a Tea Party heavyweight in Texas.

State Representative David Simpson refers to his marijuana legalization push as the “Christian case” for the overturn of cannabis prohibition. The bill authored by the Tea Party members was stalled for weeks before the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee opted to take an action on the matter. Three Democrats and two Republican committee members voted in favor of the bill, which passed by a 5-2 margin.

Because the marijuana legalization bill garnered the stamp of approval by the committee, it is know eligible for consideration by the full Texas House of Representatives. The house legislative session ends on June 1, the marijuana legalization bill would have to be put up for a voter fore the deadline or start again from scratch during the next legislative session.

Texas law does not currently permit any type of legalized or decriminalized marijuana use. Medical marijuana laws in many states have not yet gained approval in Texas.

Marijuana legalization advocates have celebrated the HB 2165 cannabis bill approval by the house committee and deemed the members’ actions as an act of “unprecedented progress” for Texas marijuana rights.

Heather Fazio, Texas Political Director for the Marijuana Policy Project, feels the era of marijuana prohibition may soon be coming to an end.

“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. Like most Americans, most Texans are ready for a more sensible, fiscally sound.”

Approximately every three out of five Texas voters (58 percent) support marijuana legalization for adults. Those who support putting an end to marijuana prohibition reportedly want pot to be regulated like alcohol, according to results from a recent Public Policy Polling survey.

What do you think about the marijuana legalization efforts in Texas?

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