Did Texas Moves Closer to Decriminalizing Marijuana Possession?
A legislative panel has unanimously approved a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession.
Yes, you read that right, UNANIMOUSLY. It seems like even the staunchest opponents of weed have finally realized that the war on drugs is a complete and utter failure.
The House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee voted 9-0 on Tuesday to advance Rep. Joe Moody’s (D) legislation. This legislation will remove the risk of arrest or jail time for low-level possession of cannabis and allow people to eventually erase cannabis issues from their criminal records. I guess Texas finally realized that throwing people in jail for possessing a plant was a bit of an overreaction.
Pay a fine
"Basically, the person is given a ticket goes to court, they’re assessed a fine, then the court tells them, You’ve got six months to pay and you need to stay out of trouble during that time," Moody, who chairs the committee, said at the hearing.
No criminal record
But wait, there's more! If the person does their part, the court dismisses the charges, and on a request of the individual, deletes the entire record of it. So, you mean to tell me that people won't even have a criminal record for possessing a small amount of weed? Well, I'll be darned.
The people support it
Nearly 3 in 4 Texas voters (72 percent) support decriminalizing marijuana, according to a University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll in December. More than half (55 percent), meanwhile, said they’re in favor of broader legalization. Seventeen percent said it shouldn’t be legal at all.
As introduced, this session’s bill would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana or cannabis concentrates a Class C misdemeanor, removing the risk of jail time and instead imposing a maximum fine of $500.
Overall, it looks like Texas is finally starting to come around on marijuana. Who knows, maybe one day we'll even see it legalized for recreational use.
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