The Texas House Representatives have voted yes on a bill that will minimize criminal penalties on possession of small amounts of cannabis in Texas.
The bill, called House Bill 63, was postponed last week and then amended to make possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a class C misdemeanor and completely eliminate jail time for the offense.
El Paso Representative Joe Moody, who authored the bill, expected it to pass today; and with 5 – 2 votes it did.
“We did it in a way that alleviates major collateral consequences for offenders and also saves law enforcement resources and time and prosecutors resources and time,” representative Moody told KXAN, “So I think we achieve a lot of the same goals, using the same construct, to get it to that point.”
According to NORML, an organization working to reform marijuana laws, 23 states including our neighbor New Mexico and 50 principalities have changed laws to decriminalize certain amounts of marijuana.
We don’t yet know if the bill will become a law. The bill will head to the Texas Senate next.
Not everyone in Texas is on board with the changes. A group of Texas Sheriffs advise against the idea, KXAN says.
President Trump has also mentioned support for easing marijuana laws on the federal level.