Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Steve Stockman, states' rights and marijuana

In the wake of a recent poll showing the majority of Texans and half of Republicans favor marijuana legalization, Texas GOP Congressman Steve Stockman signed on as a sponsor of bipartisan federal legislation requiring the feds to respect state-level marijuana laws, including those allowing medical marijuana use and flat-out legalization regimens in Washington and Colorado. Grits fails to see how any Republican on the states' rights bandwagon could oppose the idea. We'll see where it goes.

Last session, the Republican dominated Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee approved legislation to reduce the offense level by one penalty category for low-level marijuana possession, but House leadership wouldn't let it get to the floor for a vote. By Grits' headcount, the bill would have sufficient votes to pass in the lower chamber if Speaker Joe Straus and the House Calendars Committee would ever let the members vote on it.

One hopes Stockman's sign-on signals the emergence of a new, bipartisan spirit on drug-policy reform. If the feds were to adopt a strong states' rights stance on pot policy, Grits thinks many states, including Texas, might be willing to take them up on the offer.

MORE: From Paul Kennedy.


Robert Langham said...

How long will it take for the legislature to catch up with the citizenry.

Anonymous said...

They're still confused about the Civil Rights of 1964. Give it time.