• Representative files bill to allow legal marijuana in Texas

    To read our full story on the issue, click here.

    Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) filed a bill Monday to legalize marijuana in Texas.

    If passed, the bill would repeal offenses related to possessing, selling and growing marijuana in Texas.  The bill retracts all mentions of the word “marihuana” mentioned in the current provisions of the law.

    In a statement, Simpson said, “God did not make a mistake when he made marijuana.” According to Simpson, the government should not have a role in marijuana regulation.

    “Let’s allow the plant to be utilized for good—helping people with seizures, treating warriors with PTSD, producing fiber and other products—or simply for beauty and enjoyment,” Simpson said in the statement. “Government prohibition should be for violent actions that harm your neighbor—not of the possession, cultivation, and responsible use of plants.”

    He said marijuana should be regulated like any other plant.

    “I am proposing that this plant be regulated like tomatoes, jalapeños or coffee.” Simpson said. “Current marijuana policies are not based on science or sound evidence, but rather misinformation and fear.

    Currently marijuana is legal for recreational use in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, as well as in Washington, D.C. 

  • UPDATE: CapMetro announces detours and closures, citing rain and freezing temperatures

    Because of a forecast of rain and freezing temperatures, Capital Metro announced that users along routes 2, 275, 331 and 350 can expect detours as well as some stops completely closed on Monday, Feb. 23.

    According to their website, these routes go across bridges as elevated traffic ways that could ice over in the case of inclement weather. 

    These detours and closures will begin Monday morning when Cap Metro opens and will continue until further notice. 

    Cap Metro said they will continually monitor the weather situation and update their system accordingly.

    To see a full list of closed Cap Metro stops, click here. For more updates on the inclement weather, follow us on Twitter at @thedailytexan.

  • Lawmakers file bills to move marriage license distribution to Secretary of State's office

    Sarah Goodfriend (left) and Suzanne Bryant celebrate their marriage at The Highland Club on Thursday evening. A public celebration centered around the couple, who obtained Texas’ first same-sex marriage license.
    Sarah Goodfriend (left) and Suzanne Bryant celebrate their marriage at The Highland Club on Thursday evening. A public celebration centered around the couple, who obtained Texas’ first same-sex marriage license.

    One day after the Travis County clerk issued a marriage license to a same-sex couple, two state lawmakers filed bills that would grant the secretary of state the power to issue marriage licenses rather than county clerks.

    Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) and Rep. Cecil Bell (R- Mongolia) filed legislation in the House and Senate that would make the secretary of state the only official who would be allowed to issue marriage licenses. Currently, couples can obtain marriage licenses from individual county clerk’s offices.

    The secretary of state would maintain the right to authorize certain county clerks to continue the issuance of marriage licenses under the secretary’s supervision.

    Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant married Thursday, making them the first same-sex couple to get married in Texas. Hours after the ceremony, the Texas Supreme Court, under the order of Attorney General Ken Paxton, issued a stay that prevented other same-sex couples in Texas from marrying.

    Perry said, in a statement, his bill will work to protect marriage as defined in the Texas Constitution —  “the union of one man and one woman.”

    “Yesterday, Travis County officials acted in direct conflict with the Texas Constitution,” Perry said in a statement. “[SB] 673 ensures rule of law is maintained and the Texas Constitution is protected.”

    According to the bill, the secretary of state withholds the right to “withdraw authorization” of a county clerk if they issue a license to a same-sex couple.

    The bill prevents local funds from being used to license, register, certify or support a same-sex marriage or to enforce an order to recognize a same-sex marriage. It also prohibits a government official from recognizing a same-sex marriage.

    Equality Texas issued an action report in response to the legislation, calling for Texans to urge elected officials to oppose the bills.

    “Tell Sen. Charles Perry and Rep. Cecil Bell that Texas and Texans respect the constitution, respect the rule of law, and respect the right of loving couples to make their own decisions absent unnecessary government intervention,” the statement said.  

  • Three UT students apply for Daily Texan editor-in-chief position

    Three UT students have applied to run for editor-in-chief of The Daily Texan. On Wednesday, Texas Student Media released the applicants' names and applications, including letters of recommendation and statements to the Board. The TSM Board must certify each applicant before the applicant's name can go on the ballot.

    The three applicants are David Davis, French and international relations and global studies senior, David Maly, journalism and economics senior, and Claire Smith, history and humanities junior. The editor-in-chief position is a year-long role. 

    Certified candidates are required to have completed at least one semester as a permanent staff member in opinion, according to the TSM Handbook. Smith and Davis are the only applicants who meet this requirement. 

    Davis spent three of his five semesters at the Texan in opinion as a columnist and associate editor and currently serves as associate news editor. Maly spent one semester as a copy editor and two semesters in the news department as a reporter, but he has not worked for The Daily Texan since 2013. Smith joined the Texan for the first time in the fall as an opinion columnist and has since been promoted to senior columnist. She will begin working as a copy editor Thursday.

    In his letter to the board, Maly said he would work to make the Texan's opinion section less inclusive.

    "Along with content, as Daily Texan editor a priority for me would be to make the Opinion Section less inclusive," Maly said. "Furthermore, I would like to make the section less inclusive in terms of staff and coverage."

    All three candidates also acknowledged TSM's ongoing financial woes.

    Board-certified candidates will run in the campuswide election on March 4 and 5. If necessary, a runoff election will be held March 11 and 12.  

    Davis, Maly and Smith will discuss their applications with the Board at Friday’s meeting. To read the candidates' application documents, click here.

  • State Rep. Molly White wants all Muslim visitors to pledge allegiance to American laws

    State Rep. Molly White (R-Belton) said she wanted all Muslim visitors to renounce terrorism in a Facebook post Thursday.
    State Rep. Molly White (R-Belton) said she wanted all Muslim visitors to renounce terrorism in a Facebook post Thursday.

    State Rep. Molly White (R-Belton) said any Muslims who visit her office should be required to renounce Islamic terrorism and publicly pledge allegiance to American laws, according to a Facebook status White posted Thursday.

    "Most members including myself are back in District," White wrote. "I did leave an Israeli flag on the reception desk in my office with instructions to staff to ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws. We will see how long they stay in my office."

    Thursday marks the seventh-annual Texas Muslim Capitol Day, sponsored by the Texas branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

    According to an event description on CAIR Texas’ website, the goal of the day is to provide “an opportunity for community members to learn about the democratic political process and how to be an advocate for important issues.”