Texas Republican Lawmaker Uses Bible To Argue Pro-Pot Campaign

By McCarton Ackerman 03/06/15

State Representative David Simpson is evoking God in his quest to legalize weed.

cupped hands weed.jpg

Would Jesus toke up with?

A Republican lawmaker in Texas is turning to the Bible for his pro-marijuana campaign, arguing that the government should happily be regulating pot since it was made by God.

State Representative David Simpson introduced a bill this week that would not place marijuana sales and property taxes on buyers and marijuana growers, but would completely wipe any reference to marijuana from Texas law. His policy would also remove the possibility of a “sin tax” on marijuana. Simpson said he was inspired to speak out after watching some of his fellow Christians suffer from a ban on medical marijuana in the state.

“We need to love not only our liberties, but the liberties of our neighbor. What’s so incredible to me is that we want to eliminate something that God made,” said Simpson. “It’s very specific in Genesis 1. He talks about the green herb, he talks about plant, he talks about their seed, and it says it was good, it was very good.”

Simpson said he wants Texas to be able to use marijuana for positive medicinal and commercial purposes, particularly since the overwhelming majority of marijuana users aren’t hurting others. He cited Proverbs 3:30, which reads, “Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm.” And for those who do use marijuana irresponsibly, Simpson wants to shun prosecution and instead “lovingly engage them and be their friend” in order to help them cease abusing it.

“I think what’s standing behind some of the hesitancy is fear, and it does take a little living by faith at this point in time, but it’s the right thing to do,” Simpson said. “The plant is good. God made it, and it wasn’t a mistake that government needs to fix.”

But while lawmakers are open to his ideas, it’s doubtful they will become a reality anytime soon. Simpson’s bill doesn’t address regulatory questions and many simply don’t see a historically conservative state making such a radical shift in policy. Drug policy expert Gary Hale bluntly told the Houston Chronicle that “a blanket decriminalization of marijuana and classification as a vegetable is not going to happen.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.