Texas Marijuana Bill Gets a Serious Mellow — But High Penalties for Possession Could Still Come Down

AUSTIN — A bill that would have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana in Texas has been substantially rewritten the day before its scheduled debate to increase its chances of becoming law.As originally proposed, House Bill 63 would have removed the current penalty for getting caught with an ounce or less of marijuana and replaced it with a $250 fine. But, late Wednesday, Rep. Joe Moody, filed an amended version of the legislation that would lessen the penalties for possession small amounts of pot, instead of remove them altogether, while making it easier to avoid a criminal record. Essentially, marijuana possession would remain a crime but with far fewer of the current consequences. The changes were necessary, Moody said, to overcome opposition to the bill.  Continue reading...

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