The Texas House last week passed a cannabis decriminalization bill that would reduce penalties for possession of up to an ounce of flower or concentrates to a Class C misdemeanor, KXAN reports. Despite the reduced charge, however, possession penalties could still include a hefty $500 fine.
Under current state law, such possession would be considered a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Possession of four ounces or more is considered a felony with a penalty of up to two years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
State Rep. Joe Moody (D), one of the bill’s authors, said the measure addresses cannabis possession “in a smarter way” than current Texas law.
“What it does is turn personal use possession into a non-arrestable Class C offense under House Bill 218. Possessing a small amount of cannabis is still illegal.” — Moody to KXAN
The measure also reduces penalties for possession of two ounces or less to a Class B misdemeanor punishable by 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine, and for possession of between two and four ounces to a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
The measure moves next to the Senate, which rejected similar legislation in both 2019 and 2021.
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