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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Opinion

Law reform for marijuana could be on the horizon


Texas legislators are known for many things, including conservative practices, religious conformity and being narrow-minded.

But Austin recently proved that its hipster-like atmosphere can infect even the most traditional legislatures.

This has happened in the form of proposed Texas marijuana law reform.

According to the Houston Chronicle, House Bill 2165, which would remove all mention of marijuana from the state criminal code and “make Texas the fifth state in America to OK pot for recreational purposes,” has cleared a path into the calendar committee.

The 5-2 victory came out of the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee’s vote. The calendar committee officiates a date for debate that ends in June.

Though the bill has “virtually no chance of clearing any other hurdles on the path to becoming law,” it still gives hope to many advocates who have otherwise dismissed the reality of marijuana legalization in Texas.

The future looks as bright as a Seth Rogen light-up session.

Marijuana is surrounded by a false, negative and society-imposed stigma. The media teaches the public that typical stoner behavior is nothing short of Ashton Kutcher asking “Dude, where’s my car?”

But marijuana is much more than a good time.

Christian conservative Rep. David Simpson is one of two Republicans who voted to approve House Bill 2165. Perhaps he is proof that GOP will realize the potential benefits of marijuana, including medical use.

Marijuana initiates veterans’ ability to overcome the repercussions of war. Side effects include munchies and giggle-fests.

One wonders if Texans will step up and accept this vital tool for recovery.

Texas communities often have a strong desire to take care of each other, and hopefully this will come out when they are faced with the benefits of marijuana legalization.

In a strange turn of events, the Texas Senate is leading the way in this endeavor.

Rep. Todd Hunter, a Republican and a chairman for the calendar committee, has attached his ‘yes’ to the bill alongside Simpson and three Democrats.

The costly prohibition of marijuana in Texas is estimated around $2 billion; residents in favor of decriminalizing marijuana have optimistic outlooks of where that money can be spent.

“It’s taken our law enforcement’s resources and focused it on things that are really not helpful. It should focus on murder, on theft, on sexual assault and pursuing those things,” Simpson said.

The state prioritizes $2 billion on marijuana-related crime while public schools are stuck with overused textbooks and college tuition rates soar.

The state could easily fund futures for poverty-stricken students, amongst so many other deserved charities.

“If all 50 states legalized cannabis today, they’d be collectively raking in more than $3 billion a year in taxes,” according to the Huffington Post.

Texas could get a proposed $166,303,963 from sales and revenue taxes, all by itself.

Marijuana users are not criminals, they are basking in the ambiance of God-given herbal enjoyment.

Opinion columnist Phylicia Sneed is an english junior and may be reached at [email protected]

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