Texas Monthly: Could Texas Decriminalize Pot in 2015?

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The position of Texans—and their leaders—on marijuana has
softened as of late. Earlier this year, Governor Perry changed lanes from his “we can win the war on drugs” rhetoric to speak out about the need to “implement policies that start us toward a decriminalization and keeps people from going to prison and destroying their lives.” Polling from 2013, shortly after the legislative session ended, indicated that a substantial majority of Texans feel the same way. And now, if the legislature is interested in doing something about the changed public attitudes toward marijuana, they’ve got a vehicle to do so.

Representative Joe Moody has introduced a bill for the upcoming legislative session that would decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in Texas. Instead of a criminal charge, those cited would face a civil penalty and a $100 fine.

That would be a huge shift, and a significant one: According to the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, ninety percent of drug arrests are for possession, rather than delivery or distribution, and marijuana possession arrests represent ten percent of the total number of arrests carried out in Texas annually, for any crime. In 2010, the ACLU reported that nearly 75,000 Texans were arrested for marijuana possession.

Read more here: http://www.texasmonthly.com/daily-post/could-texas-decriminalize-pot-2015