David Simpson: Conservative Texas legislator fights to legalize Marijuana in God's name.

Texas Legislator Fights to Legalize Marijuana, “Something That God Made Good”

Texas Legislator Fights to Legalize Marijuana, “Something That God Made Good”

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March 3 2015 4:21 PM

Texas Legislator Fights to Legalize Marijuana, “Something That God Made Good”

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If God made marijuana, did He also make Texas?

Photo by Hector Mata/AFP/Getty Images

Last November, Alaska became the first red state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Now a conservative state legislator is hoping Texas will follow suit, filing a bill to repeal Texas’ pot prohibition—in order to honor God. From the Houston Chronicle:

"Everything that God made is good, even marijuana" said state Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, who filed the bill. "The conservative thought is that government doesn't need to fix something that God made good." ... 
In his column, Simpson reflected on his Republican beliefs in small government and individual liberties, and he invoked biblical verse to explain his initiative to repeal marijuana prohibition. He told KETK he wants to "reframe the current marijuana discussion" by talking prohibition repeal in terms of common conservative values. ... 
"We should use out resource in law enforcement to deal with murder, with rape, with theft, but just possessing a substance that God made is not wrong," he said.
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Simpson’s biblical defense of marijuana legalization is really an outgrowth of the broader conservative argument against a total ban on pot. While Democrats tend to oppose marijuana prohibition for social justice reasons—minorities are disproportionately arrested for possession—Republicans often appeal to a libertarian argument, insisting that the government should not curtail our individual liberty by monitoring what substances we use. Simpson’s religious reasoning is basically in line with that philosophy, linking personal liberty with religious liberty. At last: an argument for religious liberty that both liberals and conservatives can get behind.

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers the law and LGBTQ issues.