Which Comes Next To Texas: Legal Weed Or Legal Gambling?
In five years, there's a good chance you'll be able to drive to Arlington, pick up some weed, blow some dough at the casino and get married to your same-sex partner.
And a hell of a night that'll be, for sure.
This was one of the talking points during an early episode of our This Is Dallas podcast. Now, here we are, exactly a month later, and one of the three is already on the up and up. After this past Friday's Supreme Court ruling, it's now perfectly legal to marry your same-sex partner everywhere, no matter how cheezed off it makes that big ol' dumb-dumb Greg Abbott.
Which brings us to the next question: Which will be the next of those three to go legit? From where we stand — and given recent developments in both areas — it could go either way, really.
Weird as it is to say, there's a good chance legal weed could come next here in Texas. A couple things bode well for its chances, anyway, including this month's legalization of low-THC cannabis oils, which represents a small victory on this front. Sure, the non-intoxicating oil is strictly for epilepsy patients who haven't responded to federally approved medications and have secured a doctor's recommendation, but a minuscule victory is a victory nonetheless, we suppose.
Perhaps a better sign is House Bill 2165, the piece of legislation that was put forth by Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) that would completely legalize the drug. It's somewhat telling that a guy like the Tea Party-backed Simpson, who has previously been called the “most conservative House member,” is the one sponsoring the bill, although that didn't help it pass during the legislative session that ended on June 1.
Still, after making it all the way to the House calendar, the bill made it much farther than anyone thought it would. And, in the process, a handful of Simpson's fellow Republican Party members found themselves reevaluating their own stances on marijuana.
The thing that both marijuana and gambling have going in their favor in Texas is the so-called “sin tax” they could add to the economy. If there's one thing that both parties seem to always agree on it's that money is good. Of the two, though, casino gambling would likely net the most dollars.
Maybe that's the reason the City of Arlington has been in “serious negotiations” with MGM Grand for the past couple months to bring a 750-room hotel to the area just north of Globe Life Park. Though the casino's spokespeople have pointed out that they've recently opened resorts in locales without gambling by citing its new MGM Grand Sanya in China, the company's other resorts — located in Reno, Nevada; Robinsville, Missouri; Biloxi, Mississippi and Detroit, Michigan — all feature gaming. So, yeah, maybe they know something we don't.
Either way, we're guessing it's only a matter of time before one or both of these shoes also drop. Just when will it happen or which will go first, though, is tough to say.
Our money is on both — and sooner than later.