Two Texas bills that would have decriminalized marijuana and expanded the state’s medical marijuana program have both been killed in the Senate after being passed by strong majorities in the House of Representatives.
The Texas House passed House Bill 218 in April by a vote of 87 to 59. Sponsored by State Representative Joe Moody the measure would have removed criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana or marijuana concentrates such as hash and oil.
The same month the House gave approval to House Bill 1805 in an overwhelming 121 to 23 vote. Sponsored by Representative Stephanie Klick with over 40 cosponsors, the proposal would have added chronic pain “for which a physician would otherwise prescribe an opioid” to the state’s list of medical ailments that qualify an individual to become a medical marijuana patient. The legislation would have also replaced the 1% cap on THC content by instead instituting a volumetric dose of 10mg, and empowered the Department of State Health Services to add additional qualifying condition through an administrative process.
Both measures have failed to advance out of the Senate prior to the end of the legislative session, and thus have no chance of being passed this year. Furthermore, the state’s legislature only meets once every two years, so they won’t be back in session until January, 2025.
On the local level residents have been taking the issue of marijuana decriminalization into their own hands, with voters in five cities passing marijuana ordinances in November with support ranging from 60% to 82%.