Dallas, TX — In what supporters are calling as a “great day for liberty and even a greater day for the Republic of Texas,” pro-activists have managed to pass a pilot bill through the state legislature legalizing smoking in select cities.
A coalition of Pro-Texas groups joined forces last year in a twofold effort to “liberate Texas from the influence of Washington D.C. and California,” according to the bylaws of Texans for Liberty. The organization was sponsored by several conservative and libertarian groups, including Americans for Prosperity Texas, Empower Texans, and uncreatively named anti-California group The Anti-California Group.
“Like all Texans, we don’t appreciate outsiders meddling in our affairs,” said Texans for Liberty spokeswoman Bethany Millbright. “In Texas, it’s important that citizens make decisions that impact their lives. Not some government bureaucrat in some far off place like California or Washington D.C.”
Texas Bill SB667, which was immediately signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott, will allow Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth and Midland to “experiment with citizen’s liberties at filling and charging stations including smoking, line dancing, and prayer.”
Governor Abbott did not provide any comment during the signing ceremony. Still, an insider close to him suggested that he had safety concerns, but he respects the will of the people.
Response from Texans has been generally positive.
29-year-old native-born Dallas resident and smoker Jacob Brown said he was proud of Texas for ensuring he was free to do whatever he wants.
“I trust most laws as far as I can throw them,” said Mr. Brown smoking a Camel cigarette while filling his car at his local Conoco gas station. “But this one makes sense to me not like most others. We don’t need people telling us how to live. Like my T-shirt says, ‘don’t mess with Texas.'”
The new law takes effect in January. All local fire departments have been alerted, and at least one insurance company, Blue Shield of Texas, says it will not cover accidents related to smoking at filling stations.