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.
“Texas cannot afford to continue criminalizing tens of thousands of citizens for marijuana possession each year,” says Representative Moody. “We need to start taking a more level-headed approach. It is neither fair nor prudent to arrest people, jail them, and give them criminal records for such a low-level, nonviolent offense.”
Under current Texas law, those caught possessing up to two ounces of cannabis can be charged with a class B misdemeanor, and imprisoned for up to 180 days.