Yesterday, I was with a group of conservative Texans and, during the break, the issue of marijuana came up. Not a surprising subject really considering my house district representative filed a bill that sought to decriminalize marijuana outright; essentially making it where marijuana could be purchased at the local Farmer’s Market, right along with tomatoes.
The subject of house district representative Bryan Hughes came up. One gentleman stated that he was sure Hughes supports the decriminalization of marijuana. Hearing the opposite being Hughes’ position, I scanned Google real quick before break was over and located this:
Reps. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, David Simpson, R-Longview, and Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, joined 35 House Democrats in supporting a proposal by Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, to make possession of small amounts of marijuana punishable by a fine of no more than $250.
Hughes said he believes other Republicans will support the measure because it’s a smart approach to dealing with crime.
“If we can intercept these people before they get in the system and before they have a real drug problem and get them some help and keep them out of that criminal justice system then everybody wins,” Hughes said. “It’s good for them, it saves the tax payers money, everybody wins.”
And the last paragraph says:
Simpson authored a separate bill that would remove all mention of marijuana from criminal statutes, making it legal by default. Hughes said he wouldn’t support that measure, but acknowledged that it helped start a necessary discussion.
In a quick text last evening, I requested a quote from Hughes to this question: Do you support decriminalization of marijuana?
‘No. Reforms like someone with a small amount and getting them treatment – trying to keep them from [becoming] hooked on drugs before we put them in the criminal justice system – we should be looking at that. But legalization? No way. No Colorado-style system. No legalization’.
NOTE: I vigorously disagree with Representative Simpson on his decriminalization of marijuana bill, but I still respect the man a great deal.