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article imageMarijuana legalization bill advances in Texas

By Brian Booker     May 10, 2015 in Politics
Austin - A controversial marijuana legalization bill is advancing in the Texas legislature and Texas Rep. David Simpson is urging his religiously conservative colleagues to back the bill.
According to Mr. Simpson God doesn't make mistakes, and thus marijuana was no accident or oversight that the government needs to regulate. Simpson has also argued that the government's efforts to regulate marijuana results in the violation of Constitutional rights.
Simpson is backed by the Tea Party. He has enjoyed exceptionally strong support in past elections and has not been seriously challenged in either the Republican primary or general election since winning his first election in 2010.
This past Wednesday the bill (HB-2165) took a small, but crucial, step forward. The Texas legislature’s House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee voted in favor of the bill, thus moving it onto the next step of the legislative process.
With the Texas legislative session set to end in June, it's unlikely that the bill will have enough time to make it to the floor for a vote. Even if the bill does somehow make it to the floor, it's unlikely that the Texas House will vote it into law.
Still, the advance of the bill hints at a changing political reality in Texas. With more states legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana, views on cannabis appear to be softening in Texas.
Indeed, the Texas public is warming up to marijuana. A University of Texas/ Texas Tribune poll found that only 23 percent of Texans support outlawing pot in all cases. Twenty-eight percent support legalizing medicinal marijuana, while 49 percent support legalizing marijuana possession for any purpose.
With public support shifting dramatically in favor of legalization, it may only be a matter of time before marijuana is legalized in the state.
More about marijuana legalization, Texas, legalizing pot
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