Legislation (HB 218) reducing penalties for possessing cannabis flower and concentrates was advanced today by members of the Texas House of Representatives on a voice vote. The bill still requires a second reading, which is a formality, before heading to the Senate for further consideration.
I am excited to see our priority legislation continuing to move forward in the Texas legislature. The House’s support for reducing marijuana penalties is heartening. But we still have more work to do in the Senate. I encourage my fellow Texans to reach out to their Senators and urge them to support this bill. Texas leads the nation in marijuana-related arrests. Passage of this legislation will end this dubious distinction.Jax James, Executive Director of Texas NORML
- Possessing up to one ounce of cannabis or cannabis concentrates is reduced to a Class C misdemeanor, with no jail time and a fine of no more than $500. Under existing law, possession of even the smallest amount of cannabis is a Class B misdemeanor, which can carry up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000. Possession of any amount of cannabis concentrates is a felony, which carries a minimum jail term of between 180 days and two years.
- Possessing up to two ounces will not result in a criminal arrest in instances where this is the only violation of law. Currently, anyone found in possession of any amount of cannabis is arrested and taken to jail in most jurisdictions.
- The legislation facilitates an expungement process for those with criminal records for the possession of up to two ounces.
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