Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Gov. Rick Perry shocked the crowd by saying the legalization of marijuana was a right states should have. Perry went on to say it wasn’t something he saw happening in Texas.
"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," Perry said.
"He has long been a proponent of state’s rights and the 10th Amendment and what he said yesterday that he is against legalization but if a state wants to do that they ought to be able to do that," said Lucy Nashed with the governor’s press office.
"As governor, I have begun to implement policies that start us toward a decriminalization by introducing alternative drug courts that provide treatment and softer penalties for minor offenses," Perry said of the specialized drug courts in the state.
The drug courts, which offer rehab and monitoring by the state for first-time drug offenders, was first signed into law in 2001.
Nashed said this is not a new position for the governor and in his 2010 book "Fed Up" Perry talked about allowing states to decide for themselves on the marijuana issue.
In Texas, an offender with less than two ounces of marijuana can be sentenced to up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. An offender with more than 5 pounds faces up to two years in jail.