Less than a week after polling showed the majority of Texans would rather regulate and tax cannabis than keep it illegal, Texas Rep. Steve Stockman, a Republican from Friendswood, signed on as a cosponsor for a bill that would allow states to dictate their own marijuana legalization policies without the fear of federal intervention.
Texas Rep. Steve Stockman.
Stockman signed the bill Saturday, becoming the 19th person to do so according to the Houston Chronicle.
As we told you last week, a Marijuana Policy Project study recently showed that 58 percent of Texas voters wanted to legalize and regulate marijuana. Only 38 percent were opposed. Sixty-one percent said that marijuana should be decriminalized and on-par with $100 traffic tickets.
The bill, authored by California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, would protect marijuana users, business owners, state officials and anyone else involved in implementing a state-legal medical or recreational cannabis program from federal prosecution.
Basically, the bill would make the recent Cole memo official U.S. policy instead of simply a directive to U.S. Attorneys General.
"This bipartisan bill represents a common-sense approach that establishes federal government respect for all states' marijuana laws," Rohrabacher said of his bill at the time. "It does so by keeping the federal government out of the business of criminalizing marijuana activities in states that don't want it to be criminal."