Rick Perry had marijuana law reformers’ hearts fluttering the other day.
The Texas governor endorsed the idea that states should set drug laws, which caused some folks in the reform movement thinking, as the Texas Tribune’s Julian Aguilar reports, that the theory of relative is a sham or that Pink Floyd’s estranged founder might rejoin the band.
Don’t count on a change of heart in Texas.
Frankly, though, it would be refreshing to see the state at least take a hard look at whether we’re punishing those who smoke grass a little too harshly.
Should we follow the lead of Washington and Colorado and legalize its sale and use? That idea, too, is worth considering.
Perry went on to endorse the drug court program used in many Texas counties, which includes Potter and Randall counties. Perry spokesman Rich Parsons said: “The governor does support the system of drug courts in Texas that have proven successful in diverting those who qualify away from incarceration and into rehabilitative programs that reduce recidivism and help people end their drug use.”
My own feelings about marijuana penalties have tempered quite a bit in recent times. I’m thinking it’s time to reconsider whether the strict laws — particularly the mandatory sentencing policies handed down by the federal government — do anything other than clog our lockups with offenders who’ve done else wrong.
Some folks think the tide is turning in favor of loosening these penalties. Perhaps it is.
I’ll need some more convincing that Texas at least is nearing the head of the curve, rather than lagging so far behind it.