Sen. John Cornyn Still Against Legalizing Weed and Twitter Is Displeased

Legalize it in the Lone Star State? Not on Senator John Cornyn's watch.
Legalize it in the Lone Star State? Not on Senator John Cornyn's watch. Photo by Gage Skidmore
This may come as a shock, but Senator John Cornyn is not in favor of legalizing marijuana.

Despite the fact that the Texas Legislature got closer than ever before to passing bills to relax marijuana restrictions during the 85th Biennial Legislative Session, Cornyn has remained steadfastly opposed to the idea.

The state's senior senator, a Republican, once again reminded Texans of this fact with a tweet he recently issued about New Jersey Senator Cory Booker's announcement on Tuesday that Booker, a Democrat, was planning to introduce a bill to wipe marijuana out of the Controlled Substances Act entirely.

Pot was added to the list as a Schedule 1 when the Controlled Substances Act was created in 1970, but even Assistant Health Secretary Roger Egeberg noted that the scheduling of the drug was only supposed to be temporary, and he observed that it was questionable whether the drug should be on the list at all. People have been pushing to at least remove it from the Schedule 1 list of drugs that have "no currently accepted medical use" since 1972, without any success.

However, Booker's proposed legislation would effectively remove federal penalties from marijuana entirely, if it were to make it through the guts of Congress. Right now, the bill doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting anywhere — even Booker has already acknowledged the odds of it passing are "slim" — which makes Cornyn's little jab on Twitter seem all the more petty.

The initial tweet was just sharing a Politico story announcing Booker's plan to introduce the bill, which made some people (those unaware that Cornyn routinely retweets articles without any comment either way on the issue therein) a little hopeful that he would back Booker at first.


However, a Texas reporter soon cleared things up by asking, via Twitter, if Cornyn meant the tweet as an endorsement.

"Big mistake," Cornyn replied.

And then Twitter followers started responding to his succinct response. Some of those on Twitter were delighted with Cornyn's unbending opposition, but the bulk were just exasperated (sometimes hilariously so) with Cornyn's take on things.

There were those friendly Texans who offered out-of-state Cornyn supports to go ahead and have him as their own senator, since they like him so much:

And others who just pointed out that it seems like there are sticks in the mud that have more fun than Cornyn does:

But a lot of people just urged Cornyn to change his stance and support Booker's bill:

Still, you'd best not hold your breath on that one.

Cornyn has been consistently against anything that even smells like loosening up cannabis laws for years, even medical marijuana. In 2011, Cornyn stated he believes legalizing marijuana is a slippery slope that will lead to people taking the same approach to other illegal drugs. In June, after Booker reintroduced the CARERS Act, which looks to protect states that have opted to end or reduce the penalties for pot, Cornyn again maintained that he still believes this is a "more dangerous topic than what a lot of advocates acknowledge," declaring that he doesn't "think we need to go there."

However, it is interesting to note that not everyone in the Texas congressional crew is on the same page with Cornyn. During his failed bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Senator Ted Cruz admitted (gasp) that he had smoked pot in college, and when it comes to the question of legalizing it, Cruz is not as clearly against the idea as Cornyn. In typical Cruz-ian fashion, the junior senator has criticized the federal government for not stopping states from legalizing weed, but has also stated that he thinks marijuana reform should be left up to the states.

On top of that, even the Republicans are not as much in lockstep on this issue as they used to be. South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy supports rescheduling marijuana down to a Schedule 3 drug. Last week Gowdy jumped up and down on the acting White House Drug Policy Office director, Richard Baum, for the lack of progress in actually getting the drug rescheduled so that researchers can start studying and recognizing marijuana as a "drug with at least some medical benefit."

Of course, Cruz has a habit of choosing the stance he thinks can benefit him most at the time, and Gowdy is only one member of the Republican congressional delegation, but it still shows a potential shift in attitude reflective of the country's general willingness to see pot legalized.

While the fact that Cornyn is on the other side of this doesn't mean much in Texas right now, aside from some angry tweets, that may not be the case forever.
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Dianna Wray is a nationally award-winning journalist. Born and raised in Houston, she writes about everything from NASA to oil to horse races.
Contact: Dianna Wray