Texas House Panel Approves Full Legalization of Marijuana In ‘Unprecedented’ Move

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The proposal would make Texas the fifth state in the United States to fully legalize recreational marijuana use. In a surprising, and “unprecedented” bipartisan move, the proposal was approved in a House panel vote.

Even more surprising to many was the fact that the author of the bill cited his Christian values as being the catalyst for the bill and his support for full legalization.

Republican David Simpson of Longview explained in an op-ed piece that it was his belief in God, and his distrust of government, as well as criticism of the “War on Drugs” which led him to sponsor the marijuana legalization bill.

“As a Christian, I recognize the innate goodness of everything God made and humanity’s charge to be stewards of the same,” Simpson explained. “I don’t believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that government needs to fix.”

The Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee approved the bill which would make it legal to buy and sell marijuana in Texas.

According to the local Houston Chronicle, the panel’s three Democrats joined two Republicans giving House Bill 2165 a “decisive 5-2 victory.”

This vote came only days after a 4-2 vote to decriminalize marijuana. This marked the first proposal to decriminalize that has made it out of a Texas legislative committee to date.

“Marijuana policy reform continues to make unprecedented progress this session,” Phillip Martin of the organization Progress Texas commented on Twitter, following the vote.

Simpson penned the House Bill 2165, listing it as “an Act relating to repealing marihuana offenses.”

That’s because the bill looks to suspect “state jail felony” convictions related to marijuana, and instead have such sentence replaced with offenders being “on community supervision.”

The only hangups were some aspects of the language that needed refining, which politicians wanted to make sure kept it illegal for minors to consume marijuana without parental supervision.

 

 

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