Republican lawmaker files bill to legalize marijuana in all forms in Texas

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Marijuana joint
(AP Photo/Ermindo Armino)
images-AP Photo/Ermindo Armino

AUSTIN, TX (KTRK) -- A tea party-backed Texas state lawmaker has filed a bill to fully legalize marijuana, seeking to strike any prohibition of it from state statute.

Republican state Rep. David Simpson of Longview filed his proposal late Monday. In a statement, he said he seeks to "reframe the current marijuana discussion."

House Bill 2165 would get rid of all references to marijuana from Texas statues.

"I am proposing that this plant be regulated like tomatoes, jalapeos or coffee," Simpson said in a statement to ABC affiliate KVUE-TV. "Current marijuana policies are not based on science or sound evidence, but rather misinformation and fear."

Simpson has long championed top libertarian causes but supports legalizing marijuana because of his devout Christian beliefs.

"All that God created is good, including marijuana. God did not make a mistake when he made marijuana that the government needs to fix," said Simpson.

Unlike some states, Texas hasn't moved to ease restrictions on marijuana even for medical reasons. That makes it hard to imagine Simpson's plan gaining traction.

Still, he argues it should be utilized for medical reasons, to produce fiber "or simply for beauty and enjoyment."

A poll by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune a year ago suggested 49 percent of Texans said marijuana should be legalized, 23 percent disagreed and another 28 percent approved of marijuana for medical purposes only.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.