Austin, Texas (CBS HOUSTON) — A proposal which would make Texas the fifth state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana use was approved in a bipartisan House panel vote – with the bill’s author citing his Christian values as cause for his support.

Being hailed as a historic victory and a surprise to Lone Star state lawmakers, the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee approved a bill Wednesday that would make it legal to buy and sell marijuana in Texas, the Houston Chronicle reports. The panel’s three Democrats were joined by two Republicans to give House Bill 2165 a “decisive 5-2 victory.”

The panel’s move in support of recreational marijuana legalization comes two days after their 4-2 vote in favor of a bill to decriminalize marijuana – the first such proposal to make it out of a Texas legislative committee.


And although the bill is not expected to survive the full path to becoming a law in this legislative session, Texas anti-drug law advocates are labeling the move as historic.

“Marijuana policy reform continues to make unprecedented progress this session,” Phillip Martin of the liberal group Progress Texas tweeted after the vote.

Authored by Republican David Simpson of Longview, House Bill 2165 is listed as “an Act relating to repealing marihuana offenses.” The bill seeks to have those convicted of a first-time “state jail felony” to have their sentence suspended and instead be placed “on community supervision,” along with providing probationary protections to students and minors. The bill passed its final vote after tweaking language to ensure it would remain illegal for minors to consume marijuana without parental supervision.

The deeply conservative, Tea Party-backed Simpson explained in an op-ed last month that his belief in God, distrust of government and criticism of the “War on Drugs” led him to sponsor the marijuana legalization bill.


“As a Christian, I recognize the innate goodness of everything God made and humanity’s charge to be stewards of the same,” wrote Simpson. “I don’t believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that government needs to fix.”

Simpson was joined by fellow Republican Todd Hunter of Corpus Christi in support of House Bill 2165. Committee chairman Abel Herrero of Robstown was joined by fellow Democratic lawmakers Joe Moody of El Paso and Terry Canales of Edinburg in favor of marijuana legalization.

Republicans Matt Shaheen and Jeff Leach, both of Plano, voted no on the bill.

Comments (39)
  1. Wakko Warner says:

    Get Greg Abbott’s ass out of office and recreational use will pass!

  2. Cathy Bradley says:

    Cannabis users are not Violent People, it is the meth people, smack, and pills from Dr’s.

  3. Walter Hall, a poet at Wayne state University in the ‘Sixties, asked me, “Did you know God made catnip for cats to enjoy, locoweed (jimson) for horses and marijuana for humans?” Then he smiled broadly, closed his eyes and said, “Good ole’ God!”

  4. John Blanton says:

    Greg Abotts views on this are the ONLY thing about him I do not like. I would for him for President.

  5. Did God make a mistake when he made poison oak?

  6. Federal Law supercedes state law moron

    1. Tim LaBard says:

      Obviously you don’t know your Bill of Rights, especially the Tenth Amendment, MORON!!!

  7. marushkarose says:

    This would be spectacular. Can you imagine how many lives would be spared by marijuana legalization? The war on drugs was a failure. Marijuana isn’t dangerous! The Prison–industrial Complex will continue to perpetrate propaganda against legalization of marijuana, because of how profitable it is to these businesses, but time tells no lies, and thus the truth will be exposed.

  8. awshuxs says:

    Old fake article folks
    Do your research.

  9. If this works out and becomes law, then Texas will make history! Our State would then be the first to legalize cannabis through its legislature rather than by ballot initiative. When all the other States that have legalized cannabis through ballot initiative, they were superseding the actions of their legislators, effectively making them appear incompetent! Either way, let’s help put an end to the madness of making God’s craft-work against the law! KUDOS to David Simpson!!!

  10. you ass has bought ur way in to that seat an its time we vote you out ppl should have the right to vote weather pot should be legalized its sad you let real criminals bringing in thousand pounds of drugs in to our country an that’s ok what dum ass pot is a medical gift from god an yet you ban it what has happened to America so sad……

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