AUSTIN, TX — Over two thirds of Texas voters support decriminalizing marijuana in the Lone Star State, according to the latest statewide poll released Wednesday.
The University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, which asked voters about a variety of political topics, found 68% of respondents support replacing criminal penalties for marijuana possession with a civil violation and fine. Only 26% were opposed.
The poll asked voters if they would support or oppose reducing punishment for possession of small amounts of marijuana to a citation and a fine of $250. Of those polled, 44% said they “strongly support” and 24% said they “somewhat support” the idea. Only 15% strongly oppose and 11% somewhat oppose decriminalization.
The poll, which was conducted between June 5 and June 15 and sampled 1200 registered voters, has a margin of error of +/- 2.83%.
Currently, possession of up to two ounces of marijuana in Texas is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
A proposal to decriminalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana in Texas died earlier this year in the legislature.
House Bill 507, introduced by Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso), would have removed the threat of arrest, jail time, and a criminal record for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and replace them with a civil fine of up to $250.
The bill had received initial approval in a 4-2 vote by the Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, but was unable to be scheduled for a vote by the full House before the end of the legislative session.
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