DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas House of Representatives Criminal Jurisprudence Committee approved a bill Wednesday that would end marijuana prohibition in the state.READ MORE: Texas Lawmakers Debating Redistricting As Third Special Session Begins At State Capitol
In what’s being called the biggest surprise of this year’s legislative season, the house panel voted 5 to 2 on H.B. 2165 to make it legal for adults to buy and sell marijuana within Texas. Plano Republicans Matt Shaheen and Jeff Leech voted against the measure.
The bill’s author, Rep. David Simpson – called a “Tea Party Republican” – argues that marijuana should be legal because “all that God created is good, including marijuana.”
Simpson said Gov. Greg Abbott has vowed to “expand liberty in Texas” by allowing marijuana plants to be used “for God’s glory” outside of government restrictions.READ MORE: A Closer Look At 4 Drugs Used To Treat COVID-19; What Really Works?
The bill is now awaiting the full house. If enacted, H.B. 2165 would have the plant would have agricultural-like regulations, with growers and consumers paying taxes on pot like any regular product; but without added “sin” taxes often associated with marijuana.
Last week thousands took to the streets of downtown Fort Worth to take part in a global march for the legalization of marijuana.
Currently, recreational marijuana is legal in Oregon, Colorado, and Washington, D.C.
Should marijuana be legal in the Lone Star State? Will it encourage or discourage drug use? Take our poll here.MORE NEWS: Border Patrol Agents Find Migrants Using Storm Drain To Enter Texas Illegally
(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)