A Tea Party republican Texas state representative has introduced a bill to decriminalize marijuana at the state level.
“The following provisions are repealed,” the 24-page bill reads before listing off the litany of Texas laws currently making marijuana illegal.
Rep. Simpson says he sees a future where marijuana is legal and regulated, like coffee.
“I am proposing that this plant be regulated like tomatoes, jalapeños or coffee,” he said in a press release, adding that humans have no business governing a plant created by a higher power.
“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.”
Simpson also says weed can be used to make various products and serves a legitimate medical purpose.
“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.”
Simpson says the bill will bring the debate over marijuana back to Conservative basics: “limited civil government, individual liberty, and personal responsibility.”
“The conservative approach—the liberty approach—is to recognize force and violence is not a good way to deal with drug abuse,” Simpson told the Houston Chronicle. “Putting people in prison and teaching them a whole lot about crime, separating them from the family, taking away the breadwinners simply for possessing a plant that God made—that’s wrong.”
Other Texas lawmakers have also introduced marijuana reform bills this session.
Sen. Kevin Eltife and Rep. Stephanie Klick, both republicans, introduced bills earlier this month (SB 339 and HB 892) entitled the “Texas Compassionate-Use Act” that would regulate the growth and dispensation of CBD oil, which has been shown to have a positive effect on the reduction of seizures and other ailments.
Another marijuana reform bill, introduced last year by State Rep. Joe Moody, sought to reduce fines for marijuana possession down to $100 with no possibility of jail time.
Simpson’s bill goes further than the other bills and, if passed, is scheduled to go into effect September 1, 2015.