Texas State Representative Joe Moody introduced House Bill 507 Monday morning, a proposal to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older, making the offense a simply $100 ticket.
“Our current marijuana policy in Texas just isn’t working,” says Representative Moody. “We need a new approach that allows us to more effectively utilize our limited criminal justice resources. This legislation is a much-needed step in the right direction.”
Texas District Court Judge John Delaney, Heather Fazio of the Marijuana Policy Project, Matt Simpson of the ACLU of Texas, and Ann Lee of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition, among others, joined Representative Moody at a press conference Monday morning to announce the proposal.
“The War on Marijuana is a failure and has needlessly ensnared hundreds of thousands of people in the criminal justice system, at tremendous human and financial cost,” said Matthew Simpson. “It’s time to implement reforms that are fairer, more compassionate, and smarter at reducing drug of dependency and improving our health and safety.”
“Most Americans are fed up with laws that saddle people with criminal records just for possessing a substance that is less harmful than alcohol,” says Heather Fazio, Texas Political Director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Texas simply cannot afford to continue arresting and jailing people for marijuana possession.”
According to polling released last year, 61% of those in Texas support decriminalizing cannabis; 58% are in support of legalizing cannabis.