Gov. Perry Shocks Some With Comments On Marijuana - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Gov. Perry Shocks Some With Comments On Marijuana

Posted: Updated:

(USAToday) AUSTIN – The Republican governor of Texas supporting less jail time for pot users?

Gov. Rick Perry, a staunch conservative, riled the Lone Star state Thursday when he told an audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that he supports the decriminalization – though not the legalization – of marijuana use.

"As the governor of the second-largest state in the country, what I can do is start us on policies that can start us on the road towards decriminalization" by introducing alternative "drug courts" that offer treatment and softer penalties for minor offenses, Perry said during an international panel on drug legalization at the summit. Perry was speaking alongside former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

Perry emphasized that he is not for the legalization of marijuana but defended states' rights to make those choices. He said it's perfectly constitutional for states like Colorado to experiment with decriminalization and that Washington should stay out of those decisions.

"I am a staunch promoter of the 10th Amendment," Perry said, according to U.S. News & World Report. States should be able to set their own policies on abortion, same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization, he said, "then people will decide where they want to live."

Annan praised Perry for "beginning to roll that [criminalization of drugs] back in Texas."

Back in Texas, those who worked with Perry on criminal issues were stunned at the public acknowledgement.

"Shocked," said Ana Yañez-Correa, director of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, a non-profit advocacy group that favors drug treatment over incarceration for marijuana possession. "The decriminalization of marijuana is not something Perry has historically supported."

However, Perry has softened his stance on penalties for drug crimes over the years, Yañez-Correa said. He's worked with the group to create drug courts that specialize in drug offenders and cut back the amount of probation time required of offenders, she said. There are currently about 15,000 drug offenders in Texas correctional facilities.

"Perry has gone through a shift; he's evolved," Yañez-Correa said. "He represents the transition the state has gone through from being really, really tough on crime to being more sensible about it."

Still, his comments from Davos were the strongest she's ever heard from him. "It takes courage," she said. "There's a need for that."

  • Latest NewsMore>>

  • Early Morning Accident Shuts Down I-35 North of Waco

    Early Morning Accident Shuts Down I-35 North of Waco

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:18 AM EDT2014-07-28 12:18:28 GMT
    An overnight accident on I-35 has northbound and southbound lanes backed up near mile marker 346.  More >>
    An overnight accident on I-35 has northbound and southbound lanes backed up near mile marker 346.  More >>
  • Local Red Cross Holds Disaster Training Institute

    Local Red Cross Holds Disaster Training Institute

    Sunday, July 27 2014 8:04 PM EDT2014-07-28 00:04:25 GMT
    (KCEN) – On Sunday Heart of Texas Red Cross wrapped up their three day disaster training institute in Waco. The mini-institute offered multiple course including setting up and working shelters, assessing damage, and even psychological first aid to assist victims during disasters. “I want to be that person they look to and say yes I know Yolanda can help get me through this,” Yolanda Klem said after the training. Klem joined the Red Cross family last month after the devastating Fort Hood shoot...More >>
    (KCEN) – On Sunday Heart of Texas Red Cross wrapped up their three day disaster training institute in Waco. The mini-institute offered multiple course including setting up and working shelters, assessing damage, and even psychological first aid to assist victims during disasters. “I want to be that person they look to and say yes I know Yolanda can help get me through this,” Yolanda Klem said after the training. Klem joined the Red Cross family last month after the devastating Fort Hood shoot...More >>
  • Fallen Marine's Tribute Flag is Found in Flea Market, Given to Mom

    Fallen Marine's Tribute Flag is Found in Flea Market, Given to Mom

    Sunday, July 27 2014 7:13 PM EDT2014-07-27 23:13:03 GMT
    Lanie Brown was at her local flea market in Texas, hoping to find a good deal, when she came across something much more precious.Within a pile of American flags, she found one that looked peculiar, covered in writing from a black marker. Brown wasn't sure what the writing was, but the seller felt it lessened the value of the flag.Her curiosity piqued, Brown bought the flag for the low asking price of $5.When Brown showed it to her son, who is a Marine, he explained that it was a tr...More >>
    Lanie Brown was at her local flea market in Texas, hoping to find a good deal, when she came across something much more precious.Within a pile of American flags, she found one that looked peculiar, covered in writing from a black marker. Brown wasn't sure what the writing was, but the seller felt it lessened the value of the flag.Her curiosity piqued, Brown bought the flag for the low asking price of $5.When Brown showed it to her son, who is a Marine, he explained that it was a tr...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KCEN. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.