The most progressive plan yet to fix Texas' backwards marijuana policy has come from, of all places, a Longview Republican.
A new bill from State Rep. David Simpson would control pot just like any other plant.
"I am proposing that this plant be regulated like tomatoes, jalapeños or coffee," Simpson said in a statement. "Current marijuana policies are not based on science or sound evidence, but rather misinformation and fear."
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So far so good, so great. Unfair Park can see the Amsterdam-style coffee shops dotting Lower Greenville already, a bong rip and a latte quickly becoming the new shot and a beer. You must be wondering, though, as we were, what made Simpson see the light. The answer, as it was for Paul 2,000 years ago, is Jesus.
"All that God created is good, including marijuana. God did not make a mistake when he made marijuana that the government needs to fix," he said. "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."
Beyond being written by the state rep Unfair Park would most like to party with, Simpson's bill goes further and makes more sense than the many weed reform bills on offer this legislative session. Joe Moody, a Democrat from El Paso, has filed a fairly typical decriminalization bill. Kevin Eltife and Stephanie Klick, both Republicans, have filed companion bills in the Texas House and Senate that would legalize an exceedingly small class of cannabis-derived oils to treat intractable epilepsy. Their bill, because of the restrictions it places on THC levels and who may use the cannabis oils, doesn't even have the support of the Bortell family. Nine-year-old Alexis Bortell, who has intractable epilepsy, has become the face of medical marijuana reform in Texas. She recently moved to Colorado to seek treatment.
Leave it to a Tea Partier from East Texas to top them all.