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Greg Abbott For Marijuana Status Quo

by: Ben Sherman

Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 09:00 AM CST

Last week, Sen. Wendy Davis announced she is for considering decriminalization of marijuana, and supports medical marijuana.

She said Texas needs to consider the "cost" of possession incarcerations, and that she supports medical marijuana. "I personally believe that medical marijuana should be allowed for," she said. "I don't know where the state is on that, as a population. Certainly as governor I think it's important to be deferential to whether the state of Texas feels that it's ready for that."

Only two weeks before those comments, Rick Perry said he favors decriminalizing the plant. A recent polling survey by the firm which most accurately predicted the 2012 elections found that 61 percent of Texans favor decriminalizing marijuana. Only 35 percent of those surveyed were Democrats.

Greg Abbott's got no interest. His campaign has made clear in the ensuing days that he'll be sticking to the status quo, thank you very much.

Read what the Abbott campaign said below the jump.

In response to a Dallas Morning News inquiry, Abbott spokesperson Matt Hirsch said:

"Greg Abbott supports Texas' current drug laws, and is supportive of diversionary and rehabilitative programs that have proven effective in Texas. His goal would be better enforcement and compliance without stocking prison beds with non-violent offenders.

"He believes the best methods of combating illegal drug use includes a combination of medical treatment and criminal enforcement. Legalizing drugs would encourage drug use, which affects every sector of society, straining our economy, our health care and criminal justice systems, and endangering the lives of future generations."

That's not a serious response. Not only does Abbott oppose a heavy majority of Texans, but he is also changing the topic. The drug at hand is marijuana, and whether having the plant that has never killed anyone should constitute a criminal offense that harms lives. While Abbott's thrown bone to keeping non-violent offenders out of jail is nice, notice that he doesn't put his foot down anywhere and is determined to pursue marijuana users for criminal offenses, which never makes sense. His claim that "legalizing drugs" is the goal here is also a distortion; decriminalization does not equal legalization.

His boilerplate response is not only a perfect example, but a poignant continuation, of his campaign's utter lack of imagination. In many ways, Abbott is a cookie-cutter politician from an older age. Not only does he refuse modern solutions, he won't even entertain them for serious consideration.

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