Published on March 12th, 2015 | by News Feed
Marijuana Legalization Debate Heats Up in Texas
There are currently 10 bills caught up in the Austin House chamber that attempt to decriminalize or legalize recreational marijuana. It is a long time coming for many marijuana rights activists. Texas would not be the first state to legalize, but it would be a massive shift from its long history of right leaning, conservative laws.
Jake Syma believes legalization would be a good move for the Long Horn state. ” (We) still haven’t seen any reports on rioting, looting, society hasn’t collapsed in the great state of Alaska and hasn’t collapsed in any of the other states that have experimented with legalization or decriminalization or medical marijuana,” he said.
As it stands now there is a relatively good chance that Texas could become the 24th sate to legalize marijuana, at least in the medical sense. There are 8 bills in the house and there are 2 in the senate, for a total of 10. Marijuana legalization is a hot topic in the great state of Texas and the lawmakers seem to have heard the voices of their constituents.
Of course there are some that are not as hopeful. “I’m interested in how this goes, I hope it gets some legs, but I doubt it,” Kenny Ketner said. He continued, “I think that’s a reasonable step we can all agree on to reduce some of the abuses that are happening within the justice system regarding marijuana laws. They don’t want to change their stance on marijuana laws in spite of evidence that it’s discriminatory and abusive and so on, so I don’t know if they’ll change their ways.”
Based on the conservative history of Texas, Ketner is not hopeful that the republican led state will alter the laws concerning marijuana any time soon. However Jake Syma of the Hub City NORML said, “I think industrial hemp will probably come first actually a lot of conservative states like Kentucky for example has passed industrial hemp legislation and has even grown and harvested its first crop.”
It is important to make a note that hemp is not pot. Hemp is used in industrial settings to make textiles and such. However he also stated, “I don’t see any good reason why the farmers of West Texas shouldn’t be raking in millions of dollars off of this cash crop. I hope Texas and Texans are ready to embrace fiscally conservative solutions like that.”
What are your thoughts? Is there a chance that Texas could reverse its position? Many of the younger Republicans have shown a desire to steer away from the older rank and file members. Is it possible that the tides are turning? Will Texas embrace marijuana in 2015?