Will Texas Become More 420 Friendly?
Marijuana is becoming more and more acceptable across the country both for medicinal and recreational use. And, while on the recreational side it is still illegal in Texas, there is a bill in the state legislature that would make possession no longer a crime.
House Bill 63 was written and introduced by El Paso Democratic Rep. Joe Moody and if passed, possession of one ounce or less of the wacky weed would no longer be a crime, but would instead become a civil infraction with a penalty of not more than a $250 fine, and no criminal record.
Marijuana possession in Texas is currently a Class B misdemeanor for possession of two ounces or less, which carries a criminal penalty of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of $2,000.
According to a published report in the Victoria Advocate, some attorneys agree that penalties for misdemeanor possession are too severe, and the whole process of going through the court system is a big waste of jail space, court fees, and other costs that are paid by taxpayers.
In Precinct 4 of Travis County, commissioners reduced the charge to a misdemeanor in 2017 and officials say the change has been a big success resulting in economic benefits for the county. It helps people remain working taxpayers who don't join the ranks of the unemployed, and it keeps the infraction off of their records by not being a criminal conviction.
The Republican Party of Texas officially favors decriminalization of an ounce or less of pot in their official platform.