Tea party-backed state lawmaker wants marijuana legalized

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A tea party-backed Texas state lawmaker has filed a bill to fully legalize marijuana, seeking to strike any prohibition of it from state statute.

Republican state Rep. David Simpson of Longview filed his proposal late Monday. In a statement, he said he seeks to "reframe the current marijuana discussion."

Simpson has long championed top libertarian causes but supports legalizing marijuana because of his devout Christian beliefs. In his words, "God did not make a mistake when he made marijuana that the government needs to fix."

Unlike some states, Texas hasn't moved to ease restrictions on marijuana even for medical reasons. That makes it hard to imagine Simpson's plan gaining traction.

Still, he argues it should be utilized for medical reasons, to produce fiber "or simply for beauty and enjoyment."

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