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Texas Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Unanimously Approved By House Committee

March 9,2023- A Texas legislative panel has unanimously approved a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession. The House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee voted 9-0 on Tuesday to advance Rep. Joe Moody’s legislation, this legislation would remove the risk of jail time served due to low-level possession of cannabis and allow people to eventually erase cannabis issues from their criminal records.

The House of Representatives has already passed similar cannabis decriminalization proposals during past legislative sessions. However the proposals have consistently stalled in the Senate amid opposition.

3 in 4 Texas voters (72 percent) support decriminalizing marijuana, according to a University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll in December. More than half (55 percent), meanwhile, have stated they’re in favor of broader legalization. Seventeen percent however said it shouldn’t be legal at all.

This bill would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana or cannabis concentrates a Class C misdemeanor, removing the risk of jail time and instead imposing a maximum fine of $500. Existing law classifies possession of small amounts of cannabis as a Class B misdemeanor, which carries penalties of up to 180 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.

Author: Ethan Klein

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