Texans for Accountable Government
Testimony of Jessica Arman, Steering Committee of Texans for Accountable Government
IN SUPPORT of HB 507,
Before the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on April 8th, 2015
Thank you Chairman and members of this committee, my name is Jessica Arman and I’m testifying today in strong support of HB 507 and representing Texans for Accountable Government. More importantly, though, I am here on behalf of my family and myself as a Texas business owner, wife, and mother of four wonderful children – one of which is due very soon. It was quite difficult making my way here, so please bare with me.
I’ve come to the Capitol today because this issue matters dearly to me, and I see how much harm current marijuana laws have on good people. My heart hurts when I think of the countless young people whose lives have been derailed or ruined because of our state’s unfair and harsh penalties for marijuana possession.
I’ve never found logic in these policies, which say something like, “If someone uses a substance, let’s throw them in a cage and ruin their future.” Where in our private lives would we condemn someone to a life of misery for making choices that we don’t agree with but that don’t actually harm anyone else.
I do not use marijuana, but I am opposed to jailing those who do.
It does not make sense to arrest people for marijuana possession. We know that it’s safer than alcohol and that the real danger exists with the enforcement of the law — not using the plant.
My husband and I teach our children that maturity means that your actions lineup with your needs, and that just about anything can be harmful when you don’t exercise moderation. I believe it is the role of the parent to cultivate an open and loving relationship with their children, and to educate them, both through communication and by setting a good example, to become autonomous adults that have the ability to make responsible choices. I don’t want my children to smoke cigarettes and these are sold on every corner, however I would never defer my parental responsibilities to the State – to outlaw cigarettes – because I know that if I don’t do my job, my children will find them regardless.
My extent of participating in activism is only where I think I can make things better for my community and for my children, including the baby growing inside of me. HB 507 is a bill that honors the role of family and restores the greatest virtues espoused by the framers of this nation: liberty, self-determination, and personal responsibility.
Our family motto is “Make the world a better place because you’re in it.” This is what we live by, and I can honestly say that Representative Moody and the supporters of this bill, are trying to do just that.
Thank you for your consideration.