We don't agree with state Rep. David Simpson on a lot of things. Okay, most things. But the guy surprised us with a novel argument in favor of decriminalizing marijuana: It's what God would want.
"I don't believe that when God made marijuana, he made a mistake that government needs to fix," the Longview Republican wrote Monday for the Texas Tribune's TribTalk blog. (We like to picture him smoking a spliff rolled with papers ripped from Thessalonians, but that's probably never happened.)
Simpson has introduced a bill to repeal marijuana offenses while at the same time introducing bills that would bring civil penalties for the sale of synthetic drugs -- he sees a link between the two.
"...our current 'war on drugs' policies, though well intended, have accomplished the exact opposite, spurring a proliferation of ever-changing exotic designer drugs," he writes.
But it's his use of the Gospel to allow the packing of a fat bowl that really made us pay attention. His argument is logical and internally consistent: "The Bible warns about excessive drinking, eating and sleeping (Proverbs 23:21), but it doesn't ban the activities or the substances or conditions associated with them -- alcohol, food and fatigue. Elsewhere, feasting and wine are recognized as blessings from God."
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If anything, Simpson's argument doesn't go far enough. Coca leaves and poppies are other gifts from the Big Botanist in the Sky, yet Simpson's not calling for decriminalization of the hard stuff.
Simpson also co-authored a bill that would penalize any government employee who issues a marriage license to a same-sex couple.
This flies in the face of Simpson's bottom-line sentiment: "Civil government should value everything God made and leave people alone unless they meddle with their neighbor."
Well, it seems that Simpson believes God created humankind. And if one human loves and wants to marry another human, government has no business butting in. When it comes to that aspect of individual liberty, Simpson may want to examine his own cloudy vision. We hear that taking a puff or two helps with that.