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God Loves Cannabis in Texas

Everything is bigger in Texas, and the lone star state has made one big step toward living up to its grand ego. Last week in the state capital, a question circulated through the halls of the state legislature: Should we regulate cannabis like alcohol or jalapeños? There is no answer yet. Both choices come with a little indigestion, but with a bit of luck, and a few TUMS, the residents of Texas will have yet another industry to justify their state income tax-free existence.
The author of this chaos, Rep. David Simpson (R), has turned the current legalization debate on its head. The bill -HB 2165 – which Simpson wrote and pushed through a house subcommittee, uses age-old religious conservatism as a way of validating the legalization effort. This new strategy targets GOP millennial’s, who offer 63% support for legalization, according to a study conducted by the PewResearch Center, versus 38% from the baby-boomer population.

Because of the efforts of Rep. Simpson, the Republican Party leaders in Texas can start to assuage the fear of religious constituents running for the hills toward some sterile, puritan commune at the mention of such a justification.

According to Rep Simpson, “people aren’t afraid to vote for it,” but re-wiring religious minded voters to accept cannabis as “God’s plant” instead of a drug for hippies to get high off of, remains a monumental task. No Republican in Texas has attempted such a justification for cannabis reform, but at least Rep. Simpson has the good book on his side. Genesis 1:29: “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”

Even though Rep. Simpson says that there is no guarantee that this bill will be up for a vote on the floor of the house, let alone pass the Senate, it signals the beginning of a tectonic shift in traditional conservative dogma.

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