Not Again, Texas

Texas is such an interesting place. So full of contradictions. Like the attempts to be both modern; in its force of business , and “old school”; in its gun rights, prayer in schools, and just about anything else. I’d like to take this time to remind the great state of Texas that you cannot be both liberal and conservative. Your individual citizens might be, though, if news this week is any indication.

According to the Houston Chronicle, in a story published on May 6th, the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee have made an attempt to legalize the buying and selling of marijuana in the state.

Cool notes?

  • Two Republicans were part of the panel and behind the affirming vote.
  • Marijuana would still be illegal for minors, except when used under/with parental supervision.
  • If passed into law, it would make Texas the 5th state to legalize pot.

Lame notes?

  • For anyone confused on how the branches of our state governments work: marijuana is NOT legal in Texas, even with the passing vote from this panel. House Bill 2165 will have to move up through the system, being voted and scrutinized every step of the way, before this becomes viable.
  • Republican (TEA PARTY) David Simpson of Longview (self-proclaimed Christian), when asked why he supported the seemingly liberal bill replied, “I don’t believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that [the] government needs to fix.” – Roughly translated that means: “My religion can be reinterpreted to suit my purposes. Whenever I want.”

So, this is kind of a big deal, right? Texas, a notoriously red state, tryna be all blue with the happy green plant.

Tx-Flag
Credit: DallasVoice.com

But let’s temper your enthusiasm for the Lone Star State’s apparent progressiveness with a high school popularity contest.

A high school in Crane, TX, is currently suffering from 20 confirmed cases of chlamydia…in a student population of only 300. Although I’d like to argue that 20 cases of chlamydia in teens seems like a lot even in a population of 1,000. Maybe I just had a better education in how terrible sexually transmitted infections can be. Because, you know, I had an education. According to the Associated Press, in an article posted on May 5th, Crane High School does not offer its students sexual education of any form.

Why? Well, according to the Guttmacher Institute, Texas is the only state that takes the cake on all of the following sexual education parameters:

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Credit: Huffington Post

 

  1. Because knowing what your genitals do is something best left for teenagers to surf the internet for.
  2. “Effective HIV and AIDS education can help prevent new infections by providing people with information about HIV and how it is passed on, and in doing so equip individuals with the knowledge to protect themselves from becoming infected with the virus.”
  3. WHY ARE THERE SO MANY RED STATES?! WHY WOULD YOU NOT TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ACCURATE INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR OWN GENITALIA OR REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS?! WHAT ELSE DO YOU LIE TO US ABOUT? IS SANTA EVEN REAL???
  4. “New research by Penn GSE Professor Rebecca Maynard has shown that abstinence-only sex education has no effect on the onset of sexual activity among children or on the likelihood that, if they do engage in sex, they will use a condom.”

SexEdMaps5_1

A little disappointed, aren’t you? You got excited about the prospect of Texas finally pulling it’s longhorned head out of it’s oily ass by allowing its citizens to participate in full civil liberties in the form of smoking the reefer, didn’t you? Maybe it’ll happen. But with the conservative mentality of “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” as the only answer available to a student asking what their weewee or waawaa does, I don’t think there’s much hope.

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Credit: sexetc.org

And, frankly, I’d be pretty livid if there were.

Don’t mistake me: I’ve got no issue with legalizing medicinal and recreational marijuana. But Texas’ priorities are way off base if pot comes before education, specifically education that could save its students from things like, you know, chlamydia.

Maybe, and this is a one hell of a stretch, that’s the whole point. Maybe Texas is going to legalize weed to pay for education reform. The tax money from marijuana sales could, potentially, be high enough to revolutionize curriculum across grade levels – including sexual education curriculum. But I don’t think that’s likely.

 

My name is Chelsey Mick, and this is how we yeehaw?