Rep. David Simpson (R-Texas) introduced a bill in March that would make marijuana use legal in Texas and on Wednesday the Texas House of Representatives Jurisprudence Committee approved it.
The approval means that the Lone Star State is one step closer to regulating marijuana similarly to alcohol as is done in states like Washington and Colorado.
Simpson’s bill is a big deal because most believed it would be turned down without question as policymakers’ support for marijuana legalization in that state has been limited. In Texas even medical marijuana is illegal, so a step toward outright legalization seemed impossible. However Wednesday’s vote ended with a 5-2 victory for the initiative.
Simpson argued that there is a “Christian Case” for legalizing marijuana, saying that the drug comes from God and shouldn’t be prohibited by the government. In an op-ed defending his view on marijuana legalization, he wrote “I don’t believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that government needs to fix.”
The bill will be eligible for consideration to reach the House floor until June 1 when the legislative session ends.