Marijuana Policy Reform is Heating Up in Texas

Dec 03, 2014 , , , , , , , , , ,


As Texas lawmakers prepare for the state’s next legislative session, marijuana policy reform advocates are already pushing for the introduction of several bills that would drastically improve current policies.

According to the San Antonio Current:

Harold Dutton

On December 2, Houston Representative Harold Dutton, D-142, filed a bill seeking to reduce certain penalties for marijuana possession.

As explained by the Marijuana Policy Project’s Texas Political Director, Heather Fazio, who briefly looked at a copy of the bill (H.B. 414), it would classify a conviction for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana to a Class C Misdemeanor instead of a Class B. However, if a person is convicted three times it would be bumped back to a Class B Misdemeanor.

Moreover, while the bill would allow for cite-and-release, a suspect may also be arrested. If convicted, the fine would be $500.

There are downsides to the bill though, Fazio said. She explained that arrest is traumatizing and may result in negative consequences regarding family and employment. She also thinks the $500 fine is rather excessive. Furthermore, there is the criminal record that comes with a conviction, which for a small-time marijuana charge, results in unnecessary harm to education, employment, and housing.

 We are proposing an alternative. [MPP emphasis added] Our bill will make the possession of 1 oz. or less a civil penalty, removing the opportunity for arrest, jail time, and a criminal record. The fine would cap at $100,” Fazio stated, adding the El Paso Representative Joe Moody, a former prosecutor who serves on the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, would introduce the bill in approximately two weeks.

The Marijuana Policy Project and our allies are working to introduce a variety of marijuana policy reform legislation in Texas over the next few years. With all the current excitement and national interest in marijuana policy reform, hopefully Texas lawmakers will join in implementing more sensible marijuana laws when the legislative session convenes.


8 responses to “Marijuana Policy Reform is Heating Up in Texas”

  1. As a retired nurse, and a present recreational pot smoker, I think it’s high time to end prohibition entirely. Legalize, regulate, tax. It’s a cash cow for Colorado.

  2. I have suffered with chronic pain for 12 years I could pull my hair out, I’ve tired it it works, I don’t do it now I’m waiting on it being legal. I’m under pain management and these pills get old. My stomach hurts from them, also a pain patch that makes me sick! I need something else , their are thousands of us in Texas please help us with this God given Plant! It is here for that reason please think of the sick!

  3. Prohibition just the government tell the people what they can and can’t do who gives them the right God gave it to us it need to be a god given choice the people are the government let the people choose

  4. I am 65 years old and SUFFER FROM CHRONIC PAIN.I’M SO TIRED OF TAKING PILLS THAT HAVE SIDE EFFECTS. MARIJUANA USE MAKES ME FEEL SO MUCH BETTER, BUT BECAUSE IT’S NOT LEGAL I DONT USE AND PRAY TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA. ALSO, STOP INCARCERATING NON-VIOLENT DRUG OFFENDERS WITH TRAGIC SENTENCES

  5. Seeing as how the gov’t (DEA,HHS, FDA) have had epic failures in the “war on drugs”, rescheduling of HCP’s and have unequivocally failed AMERICANS it’s time for free-market marijuana in Texas. Millions of chronic pain sufferers have had the carpet pulled out from under them with the recent rescheduling of hydrocodone containing products. Pain management doctors, et.al., have QUIT prescribing these medications to patients they’ve prescribed to for years. Politicians are in bed with pharmaceutical companies and to hell with legitimate pain patients; they are standing up for those few thousands that, by their own hands met their fate, by abusing and MIXING prescription medications with other drugs. It’s not my fault your parents cared more about the BMW in the driveway or their 70 hour work week than to pay attention to what the kid was doing. But don’t punish me for your kids’ stupidity. LEGALIZE MARIJUANA IN TEXAS in 2015!!! and to hell with HCPs.

  6. I think medical marijuana should get legalized altogether.I have been prescribed antidepressants for years for panic and anxiety disorders and also depression these medicines are prescribed supposedly to make you better but they can cause serious problems.Often times they don’t do what they are supposed to do.I also have been diagnosed as bipolar but the doctor says he really thinks I have ptsd.He only diagnosed as bipolar so that I can continue the medication I’m on now which is an antidepressant and does not relieve my anxiety to well .That being said I would like to see medical marijuana legalized and recreational use as well.Often times people use hard drugs to relieve these disorders and they don’t realize they have these issues.Please Pasadena,Texas let’s spend tax money on the major crime.

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