Last week was a historic one for proponents of marijuana legalization, as both Alaska and the District of Columbia implemented voter-approved measures for decriminalizing the possession of pot. Although neither America's largest nor its smallest municipality went as far as Washington or Colorado did by permitting recreational pot sales, it still marked two more concrete steps on the road toward a goal of national marijuana legalization.
And , legislation was proposed in another state to completely decriminalize and regulate marijuana plants. While this continuation of the trend might not seem extraordinary, the state in question certainly is: Texas. That's because the Lone Star State is considered to be one of the most pot-unfriendly states in the union.
Here's another jaw-dropping factoid: the legislator who is proposing the measure is a "Tea Party" Republican. Rep. David Simpson has even written an op-ed in a Texas newspaper about the "Christian case for drug reform." In the piece, Simpson says, “I don't believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that government needs to fix.”
But arguably the most groundbreaking aspect of Simpson's measure pertains to his idea about regulating marijuana. Unlike Washington, which has fashioned an entirely new regulatory scheme for pot, that marijuana should "be regulated like tomatoes, jalapeños or coffee.”
About his calling for marijuana law reform, Simpson says, “Let's allow the plant to be utilized for good—helping people with seizures, treating warriors with PTSD, producing fiber and other products—or simply for beauty and enjoyment. Government prohibition should be for violent actions that harm your neighbor—not of the possession, cultivation, and responsible use of plants.”
Simpson's bill doesn't appear to address the sale of marijuana cigarettes, edibles, or other products. But his ideas will likely surprise even the staunchest of pot supporters. Time will tell whether his fellow Republicans and Texans embrace his thought process.