In a surprise and historic move, the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee has approved legislation that would completely repeal cannabis prohibition in the state for those 21 and older, making it legal to possess, cultivate and distribute the plant.
House Bill 2165 was approved with bipartisan support, with five committee members voting in favor (two Republicans, three Democrats), and two voting against.
“I am proposing that this plant be regulated like tomatoes, jalapeños or coffee”, Representative David Simpson said after announcing the bill. “Current marijuana policies are not based on science or sound evidence, but rather misinformation and fear.”
Simpson continues; “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.”
The committees approval of House Bill 2165 comes just two days after they gave approval to House Bill 507, a more conservative proposal that would remove criminal penalties for the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis.