Texas State Representative David Simpson (R-Longview) introduced a bill on Monday to repeal Texas statutes relating to the prohibition of marijuana. The bill, HR-2156, would strike all language relating marijuana in current Texas laws.
“Representative Simpson’s HB 2165 (attached below) harkens back to a time when government did not intervene in the control of marijuana,” wrote Zoe Russell, media spokesperson for Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP), in a press release obtained by Breitbart Texas. “And you know what? It wasn’t a very scary time. The prohibition of marijuana was notoriously built on misinformation and hyperbole rather than facts and results. When these laws haven’t worked for 80 years, is it really such a novel concept to simply remove them?”
The press release cites a UT/Texas Tribune Poll that states 76 percent of Texans favor reducing criminal penalties for marijuana or allowing medical access to marijuana.
“We can’t fix all of the past wrongs caused by prohibition, but at least we can stop perpetuating them,” said Representative Simpson, according to KETK TV. “I am proposing that this plant be regulated like tomatoes, jalapeños or coffee.”
Rep. Simpson continued, “Current marijuana policies are not based on science or sound evidence, but rather misinformation and fear. All that God created is good, including marijuana. God did not make a mistake when he made marijuana that the government needs to fix. 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.”
“RAMP supports any Republican who is willing to take an honest look and a leadership position on Texas marijuana laws. The more discussion is had about marijuana, the more we feel it will favor a position of decriminalization,” said John Baucum, RAMP Political Director.
Ann Lee, a Harris County Republican Precinct Chair and long-time activist for repealing marijuana laws said, “”It disturbs me greatly that Republicans would distort the principles of small government, fiscal responsibility, and personal liberty in such a way that they could support the failed principle of marijuana prohibition any longer.” Mrs. Lee is a co-founder and the executive director of RAMP.
Last summer, Breitbart Texas reported that the platform committee of the Republican Party of Texas passed a plank in the 2014 Platform to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana as a controlled narcotic. The plank did not last very long. Just a few days later the convention’s delegates stripped the language from the platform after a passionate floor fight.
KETK reported about the history of marijuana prohibition in Texas:
In 1914 during the height of Pancho Villa’s revolution in Mexico, many refugees and young Mexican men seeking work began moving across the Texas border. In response, the City of El Paso passed the first ordinance in the nation outlawing use of the marijuana plant as a means to address what were perceived as foreign and rowdy young men disturbing the peace.
A few years later the Texas Legislature passed its first marijuana prohibition law with little fanfare besides an alleged racist statement on the senate floor about Mexicans. The American national story of prohibition is not much different. Many scholars believe that these laws were originally motivated by racism and perhaps some industries seeking to control competition from hemp in commodities markets.
Simpson said he supports this issue because of his belief in limited government. He said we should get back to the basics of limited civil government, individual liberty, and personal responsibility.