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Thread: Legal in Texas?

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    Seedling TexBud's Avatar

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    Default Legal in Texas?

    as found @ http://www.kvue.com/news/Legal-in-Te...180429941.html



    Legal in Texas? Backer of Colorado pot initiative pitching lawmakers



    by MARK WIGGINS / KVUE News and photojournalist DEREK RASOR
    Bio | Email | Follow: @MarkW_KVUE kvue.com
    Posted on November 21, 2012 at 6:12 PM
    Updated Wednesday, Nov 21 at 6:41 PM

    AUSTIN -- On the streets of Austin, you'll hear plenty of arguments in support of legal pot.
    "It can be taxed; it will help the government," said one Austin resident who said she would fully support legislation legalizing marijuana. Another common argument made by supporters, "It's a natural herb."
    "It has medicinal qualities; it can be helpful relaxing people," said Austinite Owen O'Brien. "And I think that it could also bring the state some income."
    But outside Texas' liberal-minded capital, the issue is a much tougher sell. Josh Schimberg knows perhaps better than anyone, as executive director of the Texas chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
    "It's been daunting for sure, and it's a steep uphill battle," said Schimberg.
    Several bills proposing easing restrictions on marijuana have been submitted to past Texas Legislatures, including decriminalization legislation filed by State Rep. Harold Dutton, Jr. (D-Houston) and patient affirmative defense legislation filed by State Rep. Elliott Naishtat, none of which ever made it to a vote.
    Schimberg says the last session saw increased efforts from citizens and volunteers to reach out to lawmakers through phone calls and letter-writing, but Republican leadership continues to view the issue of marijuana law reform with "scorn."
    The states of Colorado and Washington passed landmark decriminalization initiatives in the most recent election, and Schimberg says the resulting shockwaves are reaching Texas and beyond.
    "On a worldwide stage we've already seen leaders with Latin American countries discussing this," said Schimberg. "On a Texas stage, what it does is increase the conversations that we have going on within the state about how legalization potentially could help Texas in terms of keeping people out of jail, saving taxpayer dollars and saving people the trouble of having their lives destroyed for a minor marijuana offense."
    The Colorado effort was spurred along by $2.3 million in ads on television and radio paid for by the Washington, DC-based Marijuana Policy Project, led by executive director and former Austin resident Rob Kampia. The campaign began a year and a half ago, and ended with a victory for Kampia's organization.
    "All of these efforts start as losing efforts, and then they eventually win," said Kampia, who says his donor-funded organization and super PAC contributed 95 percent of the financial support for Colorado Proposition 64. "We're seeing a surge of legislators wanting to introduce similar bills."
    Kampia's efforts have now turned to other states, in particular Maine and Rhode Island, where he says popular support for similar initiatives has been steadily rising. Kampia places New Hampshire, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Alabama and California on the short list of states most likely to consider action on marijuana.
    Despite established resistance from the state's conservative leadership, Kambia insists Texas is in play as well, although the mechanics of the state's legislative process makes a major change to marijuana laws far more difficult than in Colorado.
    "Comparing Colorado and Texas is like apples and oranges because Colorado has the ballot initiative process and Texas does not," explained Kampia. "So with Texas we have to go throught the state legislature, and that's more difficult because politicians are more afraid of the marijuana issue than voters are when they're voting on it in private."
    Marijuana law reform recently gained the support of the Texas Democratic Party, which officially added support of decriminalization to its state party platform. Kampia says he's also spoken with at least one GOP state lawmaker who's expressed interest in a bill that would tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol, suggesting perhaps a sign of changing attitudes.
    "He is supportive of the issue, although he has not made any claims that he is going to introduce a bill. But we would sure like to see him introduce a bill," said Kampia, who's under no illusions of what the likely outcome would be. "It will not pass, but it will stimulate a debate across the entire state."
    Schimberg says Texas NORML has also increased efforts to reach out to Republican lawmakers on a precinct level, hoping to frame the issue as one that is fiscally conservative in nature.
    "The real fiscal conservative thing to be doing with marijuana is to allow the market to handle it," said Schimberg. "Allow it to be legal, regulated, for adults only. Get the tax money, save tax money on law enforcement and incarceration and it would be a benefit for everybody."
    While legal pot has plenty of supporters in Austin, many aren't exactly optimistic that Texas will follow Colorado, at least any time soon.
    "It'll be a process," said O'Brien. "It will take awhile, I'm not sure Texas is ready yet."

  2. #2
    Shadbot 4.20 Shadimar's Avatar

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    Well I've learned recently that Austin is very much not the stereotype of Conservative (read:backwards and obsolete, clinging to bronze age ideas and bigotry) Texas.

    Having learned that Austin maintains increased sanity, still I'd have to say that if Texas goes legal then the entire US is sure to follow. Although.. I also thought DC's medical program would have had more of an effect on the Government that residees there.
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    Rednamalas
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    if there was one state i would think would never go for that it would be texas.Cowboys and weed dont mix and the same goes for alberta

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    Shadbot 4.20 Shadimar's Avatar

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    I hate to bring up this concept, but I wonder if maybe the border with Mexico has that effect.

    ie the Texas cowboy might embrace beer (something I can denigrate to no end) and reject cannabis as something for {Gender Slur} {Racial Slur}s but not "us".

    "Marihuana" was first used by whites as a racial slur meant to state that Mexicans were simply far too effeminate to do a "real man's" job compared to the (lazier) white men.

    Side Note: That phrase is also the reason why I was able to truthfully deny ever smoking marihuana on job applications as I have never once rolled up a male Mexican migratory worker and smoked him.
    Last edited by Shadimar; 11-27-2012 at 01:38 PM.
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    Flowering Member Tweedybird's Avatar

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    It will take a lot of educating for AB residents to generally understand there are benefits to mj. We have a very backwards government in some areas, such as the zero tolerance for alcohol. Not Constitutional, but if you are found to have any alcohol in your system, car is automatically impounded for 3 days...lots of peeps just waiting to take up this fight, with the right case.

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    Shadbot 4.20 Shadimar's Avatar

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    I'm not one to support alcohol, but "Zero Tolerance" translates to "we make major decisions based on arbitrary bits of data". Doesn't matter if you're actually imparied or not.
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    Flowering Member Tweedybird's Avatar

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    It was just an election ploy that got carried away in my opinion. The Premier is under pressure to look "tough". However, IMO this is not the way to do it...oh and she knows perfectly well the law won't stand up to challenge...she is an experienced lawyer too. She is rather left wing in many ways, but I think this was the way she decided to appear more right. Anyway, I don't agree, but also don't want to be the one who has to challenge it. The Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association has this on their hit-list.

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    Shadbot 4.20 Shadimar's Avatar

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    Funny how "tough on crime" never translates into laws about shoplifting, mugging, car theft or bank robbery, personal or property crimes, but only relates to consumable substances.
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    Flowering Member Tweedybird's Avatar

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    ... our idiot Feds making mandatory sentences for 6 pot plants... picking on gardeners...ugh.

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    Shadbot 4.20 Shadimar's Avatar

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    Mandatory Minimums take the judge out of the equation. Oh, sure, the judge has all the freedom in the world to be harsher but if it's 6 years mandatory for possession and it literally falls in your lap from the overhead compartment then the judge has no power to set you free.

    The internet is full of reports of judges stating that the defendant had no willful involvement with the case, but the law requires a ten year etc sentence so that is what was handed down.
    Last edited by Shadimar; 11-27-2012 at 02:02 PM.
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  11. #11
    Rednamalas
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    thats pretty fuked up shit.I have this feeling harper and his clowns wont last too long as all the moms and dads on every block end up in jail.


    Quote Originally Posted by Shadimar View Post
    Mandatory Minimums take the judge out of the equation. Oh, sure, the judge has all the freedom in the world to be harsher but if it's 6 years mandatory for possession and it literally falls in your lap from the overhead compartment then the judge has no power to set you free.

    The internet is full of reports of judges stating that the defendant had no willful involvement with the case, but the law requires a ten year etc sentence so that is what was handed down.

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    Flowering Member Tweedybird's Avatar

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    Problem is Trudeau being an alternative?? That's a tough sell. That guy's an idiot too (in my view), just in a different way. I'll keep voting NDP.

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