Aug 29, 2018 by

8.28.18 – Dallas Morning News

“Beto O’Rourke Calls on Texas To Decriminalize Pot, Stop Arresting So Many Students”

By Brianna Stone, Austin Bureau

Excerpts from this article:

AUSTIN — While U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has aired ads questioning his Democratic opponent’s support for less punitive drug laws, Congressman Beto O’Rourke isn’t backing down.

On Tuesday, O’Rourke repeated his call for decriminalizing the possession and sale of small amounts of marijuana.

…He said arrest records for people convicted of marijuana possession should be expunged.

…Earlier this month, Cruz ran a 30-second TV spot that assailed O’Rourke for his views on drugs. Cruz noted he recently helped pass a law that allows drug tests for laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits. 

“But Beto O’Rourke said we should consider legalizing all narcotics, including heroin,” a narrator in the Cruz ad says.

As an El Paso City Council member in 2009, O’Rourke called for an “honest, open national debate on ending the prohibition on narcotics.” He tried to pass a nonbinding resolution calling for such a dialogue, though it failed to pass.

O’Rourke didn’t call for legalizing all narcotics, though he later admitted to having been confused in thinking in 2009 that marijuana — his major concern — was a narcotic.

O’Rourke hasn’t made pot legalization a major plank of his Senate campaign, though he doesn’t hesitate to say that the federal prohibition should end. He says the money spent on prosecuting and incarcerating people for marijuana offenses would be better spent on higher teacher pay or treating opioid and methamphetamine addiction…

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