POLITICS: PennAve

Rick Perry: States should decide whether to decriminalize marijuana

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Texas,PennAve,Rebecca Berg,Marijuana,Drug Legalization,Rick Perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry thinks states should be allowed to decide for themselves whether to decriminalize marijuana as Washington and Colorado have, the former Republican presidential contender said Thursday during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Perry, a strong advocate of states' rights, confirmed that those rights should extend to making laws governing marijuana, abortions and gay marriage.

“States should be allowed to make those decisions,” Perry said, according to U.S. News and World Report.

On marijuana legalization in particular, Perry said, "How can I tell a farmer with half a hectare growing marijuana he will go to jail if in the state of Washington and Colorado it's legal?"

Texas has been inching toward decriminalizing marijuana. Ticketing for minor possession is optional, and drug courts in the state can offer treatment in lieu of a prison sentence for some crimes.

But, Perry said, the Lone Star State likely won't join Washington or Colorado anytime soon. "We [Texans] certainly would never jump out in front of the parade," he said.

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