It has been a good week for marijuana policy reform in the Lone Star State.
On Monday, the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence approved HB 507, a bill that removes the threat of arrest, jail time, and a criminal record for possession of small amounts of marijuana — replacing them with a civil fine of up to $250. The measure will now advance to the Calendars Committee to be scheduled for a vote by the Texas House.
Tomorrow, the Texas State House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence will hold a hearing on legislation that would remove the possibility of jail time for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. MPP's executive director Rob Kampia will be testifying at the hearing.
H.B. 184, which was introduced by Rep. Harold V. Dutton Jr. (D-Houston), would remove the threat of jail and set the maximum penalty for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana at $500.
No one deserves to go to jail for marijuana, but under current Texas law, possession of two ounces or less can get you up to 180 days in jail and up to $2000 in fines.