Texas took a step toward leapfrogging past all the states that have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use so far. In March, Texas State Rep. David Simpson introduced legislation (HB 2165) that would remove references to marijuana from the state criminal code so the plant would be legal just as are tomatoes. And, you know what, Simpson’s bold, no-compromise, forget about “taxing and regulating” move is yielding success in a state many people write off as destined either to never legalize marijuana or to be one of the last states to legalize marijuana. On Wednesday, the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee approved Simpson’s bill by a 5 to 2 bipartisan majority — after HB 2165 was moderated in the committee to retain marijuana restrictions for juveniles.
The committee’s approval of HB 2165 clears the bill for a debate and vote on the House floor. However, as suggested in the Dallas Morning News, the House may not make time for floor consideration of the bill in the remainder of this session, which is scheduled to end June 1. Still, the strong committee vote for a radical legalization bill in the Texas House committee bodes well for marijuana legalization in the state. It also bodes well for enacting marijuana legalization in America that respects freedom to a much greater degree than does any of the legalization programs adopted in any states thus far.