Texas Lawmaker Files Legislation to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

Legislation to decriminalize marijuana possession has been filed in the Texas Legislature.

State Representative Joe Moody has prefiled legislation that would decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. The measure would make it so that anyone caught with up to an ounce could be fined a maximum of $250, but would not receive any jail time or criminal record. This is in stark contrast to current law, where possessing up to an ounce is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and up to six months in jail (as well as a misdemeanor charge on your record).

“Civil penalty legislation is the first thing I’ve filed on the first day of filing for the 86th Session”, said Moody in a press release. “There’s been an incredible swell of bipartisan support since last session, and the official Texas Republican and Democratic platforms both approve of this kind of reform now,”. Moody says he’s “optimistic that this will be the session we finally see smarter, fairer marijuana laws in Texas.”

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Texas House Committee Passes Measure to Decriminalize Cannabis

Fortexas the first time in the state’s history, a legislative committee in Texas has passed a bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis.

The Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence approved House Bill 507 with a 4 to 2 vote, moving it to the House Calendars Committee.

The proposal, sponsored by Representative Joe Moody (D-El Paso), would remove the possibility of jail-time, or a criminal charge, for the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis. Instead, those caught possessing such an amount will be hit with, at most, a $250 civil fine.

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Three New Marijuana Reform Bills Being Introduced in Texas

By Alizeh Siddiqui, Marijuana Policy Project

AUSTIN, TX — As part of the Marijuana Policy Project’s multi-year legislativetexas campaign in Texas, the Washington, DC based organization is developing bill proposals to address marijuana decriminalization, as well as allowing marijuana to be used for medical reasons and eventually regulating it similarly to alcohol for adults in the Lone Star State.

According to Heather Fazio, Texas Political Director for the Marijuana Policy Project, the group will be pre-filing the three bills this November, in anticipation of the 84th Texas Legislative Session, starting in January.

Read moreThree New Marijuana Reform Bills Being Introduced in Texas