Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller calls for expanding state's medical cannabis program

'Someone just did a poll,' Miller's Democratic opponent fired back in a tweet.

click to enlarge Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has likened marijuana laws to the failed prohibition of the 1920s. - Twitter / @MillerForTexas
Twitter / @MillerForTexas
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has likened marijuana laws to the failed prohibition of the 1920s.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller — a GOP politician better known for his inflammatory online presence than an interest in legal reform — has penned an op-ed calling for the state to expand its limited medical marijuana program.

In an essay posted on the Texas Department of Agriculture website, Miller compared efforts to criminalize weed to the failed alcohol prohibition of the 1920s.

"As I look back, I believe that cannabis prohibition came from a place of fear, not from medical science or the analysis of social harm," he wrote. "Sadly, the roots of this came from a history of racism, classism and a large central government with an authoritarian desire to control others. It is as anti-American in its origins as could be imaginable."

While Miller said he doesn't support legalizing pot for recreational use in the state, he pledged to push for an expansion of the state's compassionate use program, currently one of the most restrictive in the nation. He called on fellow Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and the GOP-controlled Texas Legislature to "make that a top priority in the upcoming legislative session."

It's questionable whether Miller can garner support in the Lege while the Texas Senate's agenda is controlled by fellow Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who's repeatedly blocked efforts to liberalize the state's cannabis laws.

Susan Hays, the Democrat running against Miller in November, retweeted his op-ed on Friday, questioning the pro-Trump lawmaker's motivations.

"Someone just did a poll," the Austin attorney said in response. 



In a reply to her original tweet, Hays also got in a zinger that appeared to reference the accusations of racism Miller has faced over his inflammatory social media history: "Glad Sid took the 1st of the 12 steps to recovery: admitting racism is a problem."

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