“I was going to support you in 2019, but I can’t agree with your support of drug use.”
This weekend I met a Houstonian who told me the statement above. He said that he wanted to vote for me in 2019 but couldn’t do so because I “support drug use” and he has children that he doesn’t want exposed to drugs.
I asked him if I could sit and explain my views more clearly. I explained that in 2019 (and in 2023) I am calling for decriminalizing Cannabis possession and use so the City of Houston and HPD can redirect resources towards violent crime and human trafficking.
I also explained that as a former addict, the son of an addict, and living in a family with drug and alcohol abuse issues I know clearly the havoc drugs can wreak.
I also know that putting non-violent drug users in prison is not addressing the root causes of the issue. For example, I had mental health struggles and I used drugs as a way to escape and process. Not only did I use them, I abused them.
But locking me up in a prison without proper care or the ability to process my emotions and trauma didn’t contribute to my recovery. I made a personal choice to change my life. If more drug users had the option for treatment to deal with the underlying issues we would not have prisons full of non-violent drug users who were only masking trauma to begin with.
I will say that in the decade plus since leaving prison and becoming a journalist I have been able to interview scientists working on treating addiction and PTSD with psilocybin mushrooms, or MDMA. I know these tools have great potential when used in the right setting.
But my view on drug use is the same as it is for all other individual choices: You should be the one to decide what you do or do not put in your body. I am not advocating for drug use or celebrating it.
I am simply saying that it’s time to stop locking people up for Cannabis use and possession. It’s time to change City of Houston law to make it clear that the police cannot arrest non-violent Cannabis users. The city will save millions and we can use those resources to prosecute human trafficking and violent crime.
I hope this makes sense to anyone who may have had similar concerns. I don’t expect Houstonians to agree with me on every issue. I am not going to change my principles or values to get your support or vote, and I don’t expect you to change yours.
If you think we can work together to create real change in Houston please sign up for my email list and consider donating to the Broze for Mayor Campaign.
Oh and BTW, the gentlemen said he will be supporting me this year after hearing my stance. He also said the other candidates are too far left for him to support.
– Derrick Broze
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