A key legislative committee in Texas has given approval to legislation that would decriminalize the possession of marijuana.
House Bill 218, filed by State Representative Joe Moody, was approved by the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee in a unanimous 9 to 0 vote.
The measure would remove criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana or marijuana concentrates such as hash and oil. Although the bill would not legalize marijuana, those caught with up to an ounce would, at most, be given a fine of up to $500 with no possibility of jail time.
“Basically, the person is given a ticket goes to court, they’re assessed a fine, then the court tells them you’ve got six months to pay and you need to stay out of trouble during that time”, says Representative Moody. “If the person does their part, the court dismisses the charges, and on a request of the individual, deletes the entire record of it. The person walks away lighter in the wallet but without any criminal record whatsoever.’”
The bill has been sent to the House Calendars Committee, which is in charge of potentially scheduling a vote by the full House of Representatives.
A similar measure was passed by the House in 2019 and 2021, but both efforts failed in the Senate.