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Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter opposes marijuana decriminalization

Midland County Sheriff Painter opposes marijuana penalty reductions. Photo by: Permian Basin 360
Midland County Sheriff Painter opposes marijuana penalty reductions.
Photo by: Permian Basin 360

Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter has come out against a bill recently filed by an El Paso state legislator which would reduce the penalty for marijuana possession to a $100 fine for an ounce or less.

“That’s a stupid thing to do, why would any idiot do anything like that?” Painter remarked about the proposed law by Rep. Joe Moody.

“Citizens of Texas need to watch the fools that file bills like that, need to be replaced,” Painter told Permian Basin 360.

A September 2013 Public Policy Poll (PPP) of Texans showed 61 percent in favor of decriminalization, and 30 percent opposed, but Sheriff Painter doesn’t buy it.

“That’s a bald faced lie, they were probably polling people in Austin,” said Painter.

Supporters of the measure point to more than 70,000 arrested for marijuana possession in 2012 alone, and say decriminalization would ease police workloads.

“The resources that we’re spending doing this could be better used to actually affect real crime, doing what law enforcement should be which is serving injustice to victims of violent crime,” explains Heather Fazio, Texas Political Director for Marijuana Policy Project.

While many see much good that could come from such a bill, Painter remains unconvinced.

“I see no good for the public, that can come out of an idiot bill like that,” said Sheriff Painter.

The District Attorney for Cameron County recently came out in support of decriminalization, even going so far as to say that his office does not file charges for small time possession.

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a 30 year old journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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