Texas: HB 81 advances with a committee vote of 4-2!

By Jax Finkel
Texas NORML Executive Director

Texas-NORMLGreat news! Chairman Joe Moody’s House Bill 81, which would replace criminal penalties for marijuana possession with a simple ticket, has passed out of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee with a bipartisan vote of 4-2, with one member absent.

Now, the bill is headed to the Calendars Committee — the group of legislators who manage the voting schedule for the Texas House. What can you do to help?

Contact your representative in preparation for the vote. Send an email now or call their office to voice your support for a more sensible approach to low-level marijuana possession cases.

You can also support Texas NORML’s Lobby Campaign by becoming a subscribing donor to help us continue this important work.

If your representative serves on the Calendars Committee, he/she holds the key to when HB 81 will be voted on by the full House of Representatives, and your voice is especially important. (There’s no need to look up your representative — a different letter will load if your address shows you are in one of those key districts.)

Once the Calendars Committee schedules the bill for consideration, all 150 Texas representatives will cast a vote on marijuana policy for the first time in decades. Now is your chance to help prevent thousands of Texans from being branded with life-altering criminal convictions.

Contact your legislators today in support of HB 81! Then, spread the word so that other thoughtful Texans can speak out for humane marijuana policies.

Meaningful reform is within reach. Please take action today!

Sidenote: The chair of the Calendars Committee is Rep. Todd Hunter. In 2015, he supported marijuana law reform by voting for the Texas Compassionate Use Act and Rep. Simpson’s bill to regulate marijuana like jalapenos. Additionally, he voted for HB 81 when it was before the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee this session. We hope that this will have a positive bearing on the rest of the Calendars Committee. Additionally, Calendars will be addressing the budget and will not be addressing our issue until after that.

Please support the important work we are doing in Texas by supporting our lobbying efforts, making a donation or becoming a Texas NORML member.


This was originally posted on https://www.texasnorml.org/

Visit their site to find out more and get involved!

7 thoughts

  1. Thank you Jax! Youve been there for all the activists with children suffering from beurodegenerative disease to veterans with PTSD. It must feel rewarding to make some legislative progress!
    We get a small legislative window to push marijuana reform through in Texas and this is the time to strike the hammer while the iron is hot.
    Join http://www.TexasNORML.org to receive updated links to get active and to find out how to contact your Representative on the Calendar Committee:


    1. Thats “neurodegenerative” disease but come to think of it “bureaudegenerative” disease sounds like a real symptom of prohibition cured by marijuana reform! 🙂

  2. Texas, congratulations on this step.

    Julian, I can’t help but believe that you’ve had something to do with this. You’re a true fighter for our cause.

    1. Every actor plays his (or her) part. Sure, Ive been citizen lobbying my Rep. Jason Isaac to support marijuana reform since he first campaigned for office. But Im not the only advocate for marijuana reform that convinced him to cosponsor this legislation. While Isaac’s staff is influenced by any constiuent advocate for marijuana reform his staff told me it was parents who brought their epileptic children to his office that convinced him to cosponsor HB81.

      I look at marijuana reform like cleaning the house… yeah, it’s gonna get dirty again, yeah, its a chore, but it sure feels good when its clean and we gain some appreciation, accomplishment, ownership and reward we can light up a bowl over and enjoy.

  3. Update HB 81:

    Texas just rolled out their budget so HB 81 has a great chance to get in and out of Calendar Committee for a House floor vote.
    I just got off the phone with Rep. Todd Hunter’s Political Director.
    She said that “Representative Hunter voted yes twice now for decriminalization. He got a bad wrap last time for not getting decrim out of Calendar Committee but it was filed 30 minutes before the end of the legislative session; there wasnt enough time.”
    Now there is.”

    The pressure is on for Texans to sign up to the http://www.TexasNORML.org and contact their state Representatives to see if they are members of the Calendar Committee. There is a real chance for marijuana policy to have a House floor vote for the first time in 30 years! But only if we contact the members of the Calendar Committee in our district!

    Take Action:



  4. My name is Angela. I’m 43 years old and eat up with rheumatiod arthritis. I have been a smoker to help deal with the pain for years. They have removed my children from my home for over a year… For bud. This makes no sense at all. People need to be more educated on marijuana .

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