I’m very excited to report that the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence voted out House Bill 507, my measure to make possession of a small amount of marijuana a civil infraction instead of a crime, with bipartisan support yesterday.
House Bill 507 will make a huge dent in the $734 million of taxpayer money we spend every year on arresting, jailing, and prosecuting people who haven’t done anything else wrong. The bill will also keep law enforcement focused on more serious issues and young people from winding up with criminal records that can haunt them for the rest of their lives.
I don’t believe I’m overstating the significance of this vote to say that it was historic. No measure like this has ever been filed before in Texas, so having it reported favorably from committee was a huge step.
It was a difficult road to get here. I’ve been working with interested parties from all over the state–all over the country, actually–since last year, and at times negotiating the best, most balanced bill was tough. But I knew this bill was the right thing to do, so I never gave up, which is why the bill is now moving forward to the full House.
If you have any questions about this bill or anything else going on in the homestretch of this legislative session, please touch base with my office. Thanks so much for your support!
State Representative | District 78