Currently, there are 10 bills in Austin regarding decriminalizing or legalizing medicinal or recreational marijuana.
Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized medicinal and or recreational pot.
“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,” Jake Syma said.
Some Texas law makers considering adding Texas as the 24th.
There are eight bills in the House and two in the Senate, all regarding marijuana reform.
“I’m interested in how this goes, I hope it gets some legs, but I doubt it,” Kenny Ketner said.
Ketner and the Lubbock County Democratic Party support decriminalizing pot.
“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,” Ketner said.
Because Texas is a largely conservative state, Ketner said the Republicans are not interested in easing up on the state’s weed 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.”Jake Syma with Hub City NORML said at least one of those 10 bills might actually gain some attention.
“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,” Syma said.
Industrial hemp is not used for smoking. It’s cultivated for making paper, textiles, and biodegradable plastics among many other uses.
“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,” Syma said.
Ketner doesn’t share his optimism.
“I just don’t think the votes are there for medical marijuana in Texas, I wish they were, but I don’t think they’re there right now,” Ketner said.
The newest bill was filed by Longview Tea Party Representative, David Simpson.
When describing his bill, he said “God didn’t make a mistake with marijuana that the government needs to fix.”
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