The town hall attracted high turnout and received a lengthy write-up in the local Longview News-Journal:
State Rep. David Simpson continued his sweep of town hall meetings Saturday with an event in Gladewater hosted by the Gregg County Libertarian Party that had the passion and fervor of a tent revival.
“God uses little people, or I wouldn’t even be here,” Simpson said of his place in the Legislature to the 40 to 50 people crowded inside Tejas Café on a rainy afternoon.
Simpson cited the Bible as well as scientific studies, adding that the use of marijuana has become demonized and the role of government in its prohibition is a violation of constitutional liberty.
Gregg County Libertarian Party chairwoman Brandee Brown said her group was expecting about 10 people, but she counted 46 at the start, with more arriving as the meeting was underway.
“We’re very appreciative that Mr. Simpson has shown such willingness to talk about this and hear our concerns,” she said.
Rep. Simpson has attracted national notice for introducing the most radical marijuana legalization bill to date, and for doing so as a conservative Christian Republican. His bill, which he justifies with references to the Bible as well as the Constitution, would repeal all references to marijuana in the state laws, and in his own words treat cannabis “like coffee, jalapenos, and tomatoes.”
When David Simpson was first elected in 2010, his sole opponent was Libertarian Eric Brandt, who received 8.72%. Simpson defeated a Democratic opponent in 2012, and was re-elected unopposed in 2014.