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Texas Legislator Introduces Bill to Treat Marijuana 'Like Tomatoes, Jalapeños, or Coffee'


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Texas State Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) introduced a bill, HB 2165, on Monday that he says is intended to remove marijuana offenses entirely from Texas state law and replace them with nothing. Simpson, in a KETK-TV story, is quoted explaining that he is proposing with his legislation that marijuana “be regulated like tomatoes, jalapeños or coffee.” If Simpson’s bill is enacted, Texas would have the least government controls on marijuana of any state in America.

Simpson provides more details regarding the motivation behind and intended effect of his bill in his essay “The Christian case for drug law reform” at the Texas Tribune’s Tribtalk. Simpson begins his essay with the following observations:
As a Christian, I recognize the innate goodness of everything God made and humanity’s charge to be stewards of the same.

In fact, it’s for this reason that I’m especially cautious when it comes to laws banning plants. I don’t believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that government needs to fix.

Regrettably, that’s not the course we have pursued on more than one occasion. In the name of protecting the public, certain substances have been declared evil and contraband. So evil are these substances that state and federal agents are empowered to enforce laws with little to no regard for constitutional protections of individual rights, the sanctity of one’s home or the right to travel freely.
Read Simpson’s complete essay here.

This is not Simpson’s first legislative effort to fight against government violations of individual rights. In 2011, for example, Simpson took on the United States Transportation Security Administration by authoring legislation that would subject TSA employees to fines and jail time for the offensive frisking to which they submit people at airports. That legislation passed in the Texas House of Representatives and appeared to be about to pass in the Texas Senate until the US government threatened to shut down all Texas airports if the bill became law.
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