Of all the marijuana bills flitting about the state capitol in Austin this year, Representative David Simpson's is the most radical. Simpson somewhat famously wants to regulate weed like any other crop because, in his words, "God doesn't make mistakes."
It was shrewd gambit by Simpson, appealing to his Tea Party base's love for God and small government. Now, somehow, it has impressed the members of the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee enough that they voted 5-2 late Wednesday to send the bill on from the committee.
Envisioning Simpson's bill doing anything but withering on the Calender Committee's vine is difficult. Imagining it then being passed by the full Texas House and the clown caucus-controlled Texas Senate is harder still -- although if the bill managed to do all of those things, maybe Governor Greg Abbott would be just distracted enough by Jade Helm 15 to sign it without looking.
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The only two members of the committee to vote against legalization were Matt Shaheen and Jeff Leach, both Republicans from Plano. Initially, Simpson's bill passed the committee 5-1 with Leach absent. After he heard about the vote, Leach was surprised -- he hadn't expected the bill to be voted on -- and asked committee chair Abel Herrero for a another vote just so the could register his opposition to the demon weed.