Rep. Joe Moody’s bill to reduce penalties for low-level marijuana possession has passed out of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee with a bipartisan vote of 5-2!
The bill was amended by the committee and now allows an individual to receive two civil penalties ($250 fine) before facing Class C Misdemeanor charges for subsequent offenses. Even after three or more charges, though, Rep. Moody’s bill institutes an automatic deferral, allowing the individual to avoid a permanent criminal record. This is a vast improvement from current law, which penalizes even small amounts with an arrest, up to 180 days in jail, up to $2,000 in fines, and a permanent criminal record.
Bottom line: if passed by the House and Senate, Texans would no longer face jail time or the collateral consequences that come along with a criminal drug conviction! Please ask your representative to co-author HB 63.
More TxMJPolicy Updates
* We’re more than halfway to our crowdfunding goal. Will you pitch toward our efforts at the Capitol? (Thank you!)
* Direct Action at the Capitol: Volunteers needed this Wednesday! We’ll be hitting the halls of the Capitol in support of HB 63. Join us! (Details.)
* Lt. Governor Dan Patrick says he’s not supportive of marijuana law reform. Sign our petition to ask him to reconsider his position, which is at odds with public opinion and the official position of his own political party. (Signature will be hand delivered later this week.)
* Educational Exhibit at the Capitol: April 1st! We’re hosting an educational exhibit to put forward all the good reasons Texas should reduce penalties for low-level marijuana possession. (Details.)
* The Texas Medical Association (TMA) has long supported a physician’s right to discuss marijuana use with patients. Recently, though, the powerful association went further, offering several recommendations about the Therapeutic Use of Marijuana, Cannabidiol, and Related Compounds. (More here.)
Thank you for your continued support of our work. Onward!