Texas Representative Introduces Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana

State Rep. Joe Moody, a Democrat from El Paso, introduced a bill on Monday to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in the Texas House of Representatives. The measure, House Bill 63, was submitted by Moody on the first day of the pre-filing period for the 2019 legislative session.

If passed, “a person who knowingly or intentionally possesses a usable quantity of marihuana [sic] in an amount that is one ounce or less does not commit an offense but is liable to the state for a civil penalty not to exceed $250,” according to the text of the bill.

It appears the bill might have a chance at success. Both Moody’s own Democratic Party and that of state Republicans call for cannabis reform. And in September, Gov. Greg Abbott, long an obstacle to marijuana reform, indicated that he was “open” to reducing the penalties for possession of small quantities of pot.

Texas Republicans Support Reform

In June, at the convention for the Republican Party of Texas, delegates approved a platform that included several planks in favor of cannabis reform.

“We support a change in the law to make it a civil, and not a criminal, offense for legal adults only to possess one

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