It’ll be a busy time for marijuana policy advocates at the Texas capitol this week, complete with hearings, exhibits, and direct action.
On Monday, April 1 the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee will hear five bills which are aimed at reducing the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Over a dozen bills have been introduced this session for that purpose, and one has already made it out of committee with bipartisan support. HB 63, introduced by Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso), would make possession of an ounce or less of marijuana a civil fine of $250 for the first two offenses, while each offense after would be charged as a Class C misdemeanor, which involves a $500 fine, arrest, and criminal record. HB 63 has garnered the support of 35 legislators already as both authors and co-authors. The first two offenses would not create a criminal record.
The House Agriculture & Livestock Committee will also hold a hearing on several hemp bills on Monday as well. Hemp is expected to be legalized in Texas this year following the plant’s legalization at the federal level.
On Tuesday, Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy will have an educational exhibit in the E2 Hallway of the capitol building to inform Texans about why Texas should move forward with reducing penalties for low-level marijuana possession. A similar exhibit was set up during the 2017 legislative session as well which highlighted the damage Texans incur due to current marijuana policy.
Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy will follow up on Wednesday by delivering fliers to the offices of state legislators. “It’s a