Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Approved by Texas House Committee

Texas State Representative Joe Moody’s House Bill 63 made it out of the House’s Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on Monday on the power of a 5-2 vote in its favor. With the proposed legislation’s movement, it’s beginning to look more likely that Texas will see jail time taken off the table for those caught with small amounts of cannabis on their person.

The bill was introduced by Moody back in November, on the very first day it was possible to file for this year’s legislative session. If passed, it would change the punishment for an individual’s first offense of small scale possession of marijuana (here defined as less than an ounce) from up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine to a $250 — still a weighty penalty, but nothing compared to the current law. A third possession offense would raise the crime to a Class C misdemeanor subject to a fine not exceeding $500. The bill would not affect current laws against driving while high.

“We are very optimistic about the chances of HB 63 passing on the floor of the Texas House,” director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy Heather Fazio told Marijuana Moment. “Overall, lawmakers on

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