AUSTIN, TX — Texas Governor Rick Perry has always been outspoken, even with regard to marijuana. Lately he has been talking about the decriminalization of marijuana in the Lone Star State all over the world–most recently in Austin on Jimmy Kimmel Live at the SXSW Music Festival Tuesday night.
Governor Perry appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live for an exclusive interview. Initially the audience was booing him until the topic of marijuana came up. When the Governor was asked by Jimmy Kimmel about decriminalizing marijuana in Texas he responded “We’ve kind of done that” and “You don’t want to ruin a kid’s life for having a joint.”
When Jimmy Kimmel suggested that Perry may decriminalize marijuana possession in Texas by the time he exits from office in January 2015, Governor Perry surprisingly nodded in agreement.
In January Governor Perry also spoke about lessening penalties for marijuana possession in Switzerland. He was quoted as saying “After 40 years of the war on drugs, I can’t change what happened in the past. What I can do as the governor of the second largest state in the nation is to implement policies that start us toward a decriminalization and keeps people from going to prison and destroying their lives, and that’s what we’ve done over the last decade.”
Governor Perry has said he does not personally support marijuana legalization but he has also repeatedly stated that it should be left up to the states to decide.
While Governor Perry’s statements don’t change anything today, it is a huge sign of progress and moving the conversation forward. The times are changing in Texas and soon you may no longer go to jail for possessing marijuana in the Lone Star State.