Friday, August 11, 2017 at 6 a.m.
Discussion of marijuana reform somehow made it into the special session, even though there is little chance any related bill will pass.
State Rep. Joe Moody, an El Paso Democrat, must know there’s more of a chance that the Texas Legislature will do a group rendition of the macarena than there is that House Bill 334 will get through Legislature during the special session. Still, Moody held a public hearing on a bill he filed this week, pretty much just for the heck of it.
HB 334 would make possession of a small amount of marijuana a civil citation punishable by a $250 fine but not a crime. Courts would allow some of the fine to be paid off through the offender taking drug education courses or doing community service. For a third offense, the civil penalty must include a drug education requirement. On a fourth offense, a prosecutor can proceed with a Class C misdemeanor instead of a civil citation.
During the regular session, Moody’s bill did better than marijuana legislation has ever done in the past while still never coming anywhere close to being signed into law.
But still, the experience left Moody and the bill’s supporters interested enough to try again and file it during the special session. And on Wednesday they went a step further and held a hearing on the bill to try and rally a little more support while