Texas House Votes in Favor of Reducing Penalties For Marijuana Possession
Getting penalties reduced for small amounts of marijuana is one step closer to being passed.
According to NewsWest 9, on Monday afternoon Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill 63, which will reduce penalties of possession of small amounts of marijuana, by a vote of 98-43.
HB 63 originally would have decriminalized possession of one ounce or less of pot and making it a civil penalty punishable by a $250 fine.
But State Representative Joe Moody (D-El Paso), the author of HB 63, said after talking with the governor's office and others he decided to amend the bill to where it could pass both chambers and be signed into law.
Under current law, possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana carries a Class B misdemeanor offense and a fine of up to $2,000, 180 days in jail, driver's license suspension and a permanent criminal record.
“Our current law means that a 20-year-old college kid caught with $5 worth of marijuana can end up being treated like a criminal at a job interview 30 years later, and that’s if they even get the interview in the first place,” Moody said.
The bill still needs to pass in the Texas Senate.