A bill to stop arresting and jailing marijuana consumers in Texas cleared an important hurdle yesterday, when it passed the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. But it has a long way to go before it becomes law.
Currently, possession of two ounces or less is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. HB 63 would make the penalty for possessing one ounce or less a fine of $250. This would apply to an individual's first two offenses; after the second offense, it would be a class C misdemeanor, which carries a fine with no jail time.
Texas is punishing adults for using a substance that is safer than alcohol and it's costing the state millions in tax dollars and ruining thousands of Texans' lives. In 2017 alone, there were more than 64,000 arrests for marijuana possession in Texas.
Please ask your lawmakers to support decriminalizing marijuana today. Together, we can bring sensible marijuana policies to Texas.