Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller last week became the highest-ranking Texas official to publicly support the legalization of medical marijuana in the state.
In an op-ed he published on the Department of Agriculture website earlier this month, he wrote that “the history of cannabis prohibition reflects the failed alcohol prohibition of the 1920’s, complete with gangs, corruption, and widespread violence against the lives and liberties of American citizens.” He went on to say that expanding access should be a top priority for the Legislature.
“They need to look at the facts, look at the science,” said Miller. “It helps people, it causes no harm.”
He also criticized the selective use of medical cannabis, describing the current system as “picking winners and losers.” As it stands, only “eligible” Texans can access medical marijuana, those with certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy or cancer. Miller says he wants any Texan with a medical need to be able to access what he considers to be medicine. According to Miller, he has never used the drug personally and is not advocating recreational use.
In another interview, he acknowledged the controversy surrounding his position, but emphasized that other Republican-controlled states have already legalized medical marijuana.
“A lot of people are shocked that a hard right Republican like myself would be in favor of expansion of medical cannabis,” said Miller during an interview on Capital Tonight. “But it’s about freedom. It’s about less government oversight, it’s about less regulation. It’s everything that being a conservative stands for.”