Friday, February 17, 2017 at 4 a.m.
Slowly but surely, Texas is threatening to reform its marijuana policy.
Thursday morning, Texas state Representative Joe Moody, surrounded by police officers and a retired judge, took a lectern at the Texas Capitol to argue for something he’s pushed hard for over the last two legislative sessions — the decriminalization of marijuana possession.
“This discussion about marijuana policy in Texas has come a very long way in the last couple of years,” Moody said Thursday. “I think that our constituents and the people we represent want to see a reform in our policy, and slowly but surely, the people in this building are coming to the same conclusion.”
Moody’s House Bill 81, if passed, would make the possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana a civil offense, punishable by only a $250 fine. Carrying weed for personal use wouldn’t get you a rrested, and it wouldn’t get you a record.
That’s a good thing, says Nick Novello, a veteran Dallas cop who supports Moody’s bill.
“I went to Austin [to support Rep. Moody] because after 35 years on the street I’m just tired of seeing kids’ lives defined by marijuana arrests,” Novello says. “Our culture will not endure much more of what we’re doing to it. If Hillary [Clinton] was right when she said it takes a village to raise a child, the my question is ‘What happens when that village criminalizes and incarcerates