Beto O'Rourke Defends Decriminalizing Marijuana After Ted Cruz Airs Ad Attacking Him

As the Senate race in Texas heats up, Democrat Beto O'Rourke is not backing down on his defense of decriminalizing marijuana.

Last week, Republican Senator Ted Cruz launched a series of attack ads against O'Rourke. In one of the videos, Cruz went after O'Rourke for old comments he made about the possibility of the government legalizing all narcotics. O'Rourke has since backtracked on the issue of legalizing all narcotics, but he's continued to defend decriminalizing marijuana and tackling criminal justice reform for other drugs.

“A school-to-prison pipeline has produced the largest prison population on the face of the planet,” O’Rourke said at a rally this week. "People are doing time right now for nonviolent drug charges, including possession of marijuana — a substance that is legal in 29 states in this country today."

O'Rourke also said he supports expunging records for all people convicted of marijuana crimes. He also advocated for a reform for the nation's bail system that leads to many impoverished prisoners forced behind bars before they're convicted of a crime.

While senate races are usually safely Republican in Texas, O'Rourke's campaign against Cruz is gaining steam, as polls show he's within only a couple of points of the incumbent senator. Most analysts still believe Cruz will win re-election, but considering the momentum O'Rourke's campaign is generating, there could still be time to flip the race.

(h/t Dallas News)

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