Texas House of Representatives to Vote Next Week on Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana

Texas legislation that would decriminalize the personal possession of marijuana and marijuana concentrates will receive a vote by the full House of Representatives on Wednesday, April 26.

A little over a month after House Bill 218 was passed unanimously by the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, the House Calendars Committee has scheduled the measure for a House vote on April 26. Passage in the House would sent it to the Senate.

Filed by State Representative Joe Moody, 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.’”

A similar measure was passed by the House in 2019 and 2021, but both efforts failed in the Senate. Proponents of the measure are hoping that rapidly shifting public opinion will lead the Senate to act on the measure this year.

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