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Texas Tides are Turning

Texas Tides are Turning

It looks like Rick Perry changed his mind. News outlets have been publishing marijuana facts and figures listing Gov. Rick Perry as supporting decriminalization in Texas, while many of the statements he made in January were undeniably negative towards it. Is he talking out of both sides of his mouth? Maybe it’s all about politics, not really about the drug at all?

We posted some of the comments he made at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland back in February – when he called the public’s changing opinion a marijuana “parade,” surmised that marijuana legalization could directly affect murder rates, and worried that decriminalization will send a negative message to “young, influenceable people.”

But apparently, despite his seemingly clear anti-marijuana stance, he really does support decriminalization and least softened criminal sentences for drug penalties. Maybe this is because he sees the landscape in Texas changing.

According to a recent post by Forth Worth Weekly, libertarian, liberal, and Tea Party groups are coming together for the first time ever in their views on nonviolent drug offenders. Since Perry publicly acknowledged his support for decriminalization, several Texas legislators have begun working on bills to change treatment of marijuana users in court.

The article states,

State Rep. Elliott Naishtat of Austin, who has worked unsuccessfully for years to legalize medical uses of marijuana in this state, said he will try again in the legislative session that starts in January.

“There is ample evidence that marijuana is beneficial to people suffering from the chronic and debilitating pain associated with cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis,” he said. “I’ve introduced this bill six times, so I’m hoping seven will be the charm.”

Last year the medical marijuana bill was considered by the House Public Health Committee. Afterward, two Republicans on the panel came to him and said they were considering the proposal with open eyes for the first time.

Texas, your collective voices are being heard. Keeping working for what you believe in. Keep supporting NORML’s DFW Chapter. Step by step, we’re getting there.

A woman blows smoke rings with marijuana smoke during the 4/20 Rally at the Civic Center in Denver, Colorado, April 20, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Leffingwell.


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