Longview, Texas Republican State Representative David Simpson believes that the governments power to arrest and incarcerate people for their use of cannabis needs to be eliminated immediately. That he has filed ‘The End Marijuana Prohibition Bill’ House Bill 2165 simply put eliminates marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia possession offenses from the criminal statute.
Rep. Simpson states that “Nearly a century ago, the Texas legislature made a mistake in judgment based on misinformation and unfortunate motivations, due to this mistake a relatively benign plant was made illegal to grow, possess, and sell in Texas.” He continued and said “Repealing prohibition of the plant will result in savings of millions of dollars currently spent in the name of the war on drugs, it will end the destruction and disruption of thousands of lives caused by the heavy penalties for those who use the plant, and will restore freedom and dignity to all Texans.”
Simpson wrote in a Christian op-ed that “I don’t believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that government needs to fix.”
This Pro-Freedom East Texas Rep. continued “Should we be concerned for our friends and neighbors who abuse a substance or activity? Yes, we should help them through sincere and voluntary engagement, but not with force and violence. … Civil government should value everything God made and leave people alone unless they meddle with their neighbor.”
HB 2165 is probably a long shot at best, Jesus himself could walk into the Texas Capitol building in Austin and demand its passage and it would still fall short. If it can at least generate a long-lasting rouse out of these Texas lawmakers then it wasn’t a total loss. It has garnered state and national media coverage to me a bright shot over the bow for these legislators to let them know that there is an awakening to the knowledge of freedoms and liberties. A 2013 survey showed over 60% percent of Texans supporting decriminalization and 58% percent legalizing and regulating it for retail. A recent Pew Research Poll also concluded that younger republicans are very strong supporters of marijuana legalization, unfortunately the older Republicans in large numbers are still in favor of keeping this plant prohibited.
The ACLU has reported that about 75,000 Texans are arrested every year for possession of marijuana which ranks as the second highest number of people than 48 other states.
Rep. Simpson states “Prohibition has encouraged countless steps away from the freedom, dignity, and sanctity of the individual and their home in the name of prohibiting this simple plant, we can’t fix all of the past wrongs caused by prohibition, but at least we can stop perpetuating them.”
His other anti drug war legislation attempt will be House Bill 3171 to repeal civil asset forfeiture in Texas and require a criminal conviction to be able to forfeit property associated with any crime.
Simpson says “No one should forfeit their property without being convicted of a crime. Our current civil forfeiture provisions, though a well intended tool for law enforcement, have eroded the constitutional rights of individuals. It is time we end the practice.”
Civil asset forfeiture, or forfeiture of contraband, as it is referred to in Chapter 59 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, is the process by which the state may confiscate assets of an individual that are alleged to be proceeds or instruments of crime.
Rep. Simpson says that ‘Current law lets law enforcement confiscate the property to be seized despite if the property owner is ever charged of a crime or not. If charges are filed, the property obtained can still be disposed of before a conviction, or if they are found not guilty their property is still kept and doesn’t have to be returned to them.’
Texas Supreme Court Judges Don Willett, Debra Lehrmann, and John P. Devine who are all Republicans who ruled in Zaher El-Ali v Texas case had dissenting opinions by saying that “Civil forfeiture, once focused on the illicit goodies of rich drug dealers, now disproportionately ensnares those least capable of protecting themselves, poor Texans who usually capitulate without a fight because mounting a defense is too costly.”
Representative Simpson also stated that his House Bill 3171 not only does away with civil asset forfeiture but it also creates a criminal asset forfeiture so that the gains of the convicted criminals may be seized after due process from cartels, drug dealers, and for those in human trafficking rings while protecting “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures…” provided in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.
Simpson concluded by stating “Our constitutional restraints on government power are like fences; they keep the honest people honest, where our fences of presumed innocence and due process have been torn down, we should rebuild them.” It’s really a bright light of Freedom and Liberty to see a Legislator bring these kind of subject to the forefront. I hope to see a lot more of these pro-liberty attempts from Mr. Simpson.
By Andre’ Gabriel Esparza – DontComply.com
A Pro Liberty, Pro Freedom, Human Rights Activist, very involved in a wide variety of Activism and Exposing the Truth at all costs.
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