The Slatest

Republican Marijuana Legalization Bill Passes Texas Panel but Likely Won’t Become Law

The Texas State Capitol building in Austin.

A Republican-sponsored bill that would legalize recreational marijuana use in Texas passed the state’s Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Wednesday, though per the Houston Chronicle the bill has “virtually no chance” of actually becoming law. From the Chronicle:

Two Republicans joined with the panel’s three Democrats in support, giving House Bill 2165  a decisive 5-2 victory … The move came just two days after the same panel voted 4-2 in favor of a bill to decriminalize marijuana, marking the first time such a proposal had made it out of a Texas legislative committee.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican David Simpson, published an op-ed called “The Christian Case for Drug Law Reform” in March. Wrote Simpson:

As a Christian, I recognize the innate goodness of everything God made and humanity’s charge to be stewards of the same.

In fact, it’s for this reason that I’m especially cautious when it comes to laws banning plants. I don’t believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that government needs to fix.

On Thursday, meanwhile, the Texas Senate passed a bill that would legalize oils containing a marijuana component called cannabidiol for use in certain medical treatments. A similar bill has already passed the state House; Texas governor Greg Abbott, however, is not expected to OK any changes to the state’s existing drug laws.