texas

Texas House OKs Removing Jail Time for Small Amounts of Pot

The bill would lower criminal penalties for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana to a Class C misdemeanor

Having small amounts of marijuana in Texas would mean a fine and no jail time under a bill advancing in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

The bill that passed the Texas House by a 98-43 vote Monday is a milestone in Texas, where GOP leaders have been resistant to relaxing marijuana laws. It would lower criminal penalties for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana to a Class C misdemeanor.

Lawmakers say it would help save resources for law enforcement and keep low-level offenders out of the criminal justice system.

Texas News

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Democrat Rep. Joe Moody changed his original bill that would have decriminalized possession of small amounts of pot. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signaled support last year for reducing penalties to a lower misdemeanor offense but stopped short of publicly endorsing decriminalization.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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