Despite over 60 percent of Texas voters supporting marijuana legalization, advocates continue to face an uphill battle in the legislature. In response, activists in Texas are now expanding their efforts to focusing on implementing reforms at the local level.
Under the newly signed law, the possession of personal use quantities of cannabis by adults will no longer be subject to civil penalties. Furthermore, police may no longer cite the odor of cannabis as justification for engaging in a warrantless search.
Brookside, Dillonvale, Laurelville, Martins Ferry, McArthur, Morristown, Mount Pleasant, Murray City, New Lexington, New Straitsville, Powhatan Point, Rayland, Tiltonsville and Yorkville.
A separate ordinance passed by the city clears the criminal records of those convicted of low-level marijuana possession offenses. It is estimated that some 10,000 residents will be granted blanket pardons under this action.
House Bill 652 amends state law so that offenses involving the possession of up to 14 grams of marijuana are punishable by a fine of no more than $100 – no arrest and no jail time.
United States Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), along with Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) unveiled draft legislation repealing the federal prohibition of marijuana at a press conference on Wednesday.
“The passage of this legislation is great progress toward ending the racially discriminatory policy of branding otherwise law-abiding Louisianans as criminals for minor marijuana possession offenses when law enforcement should instead be focusing on fighting legitimate crime.”
“Decriminalization is only a partial step. It reduces the total number of marijuana arrests, but continues to leave far too many people — and young adults in particular — subject to the whims of law enforcement.”