Texas Legislature Could Change Law on Marijuana Possession to a Lesser Offense
Could Texas be easing up on marijuana laws? We have to wait and see if this passes.
Let's get this out of the way first. No, people cannot be transporting pounds of marijuana through Texas and get away with a slap on the wrist. This new law would be for people that are obviously using the marijuana themselves and not attempting to sell it. House Bill 63 would decriminalize possession of an ounce or less of marijuana, making it instead punishable by “a civil penalty” of no more than $250.
Representative Joe Moody says that Texas has 75,000 marijuana possession arrests every year. He says the average arrest being for one-third ounce.“It actually makes us less safe because that arrest takes an officer off the street for up to half a shift dealing with processing and paperwork, then further overcrowds our jails and clogs our courts. And it does absolutely nothing to deter marijuana use since usage has remained steady for years,” Moody told fellow lawmakers.
As with any bill, you will have many who don't agree. Many police departments throughout our state have stated they don't want this to pass. Officers in Plano, North Richland Hills, and Grand Prarie have all issued concerns with this bill. “What this bill would effectively cause is desensitizing citizens of this state to the dangers of the harmful, this harmful and dangerous drug, one step at a time, until full legalization is achieved,” said Grand Prairie Assistant Police Chief Ronnie Morris.
It looks like around a dozen bills have been filed in Texas this year for decreasing marijuana possession penalties. We will see which one or if any pass during this legislative session.