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Brownsville based District Attorney supports marijuana decriminalization

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Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz of Brownsville recently spoke out in support of legislation which would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in Texas.

“To a certain extent, I agree with the proposal, but let me first make it perfectly clear that myself and this office, does not endorse the use of marijuana,” he told Action 4 News.

Filed by State Representative Joe Moody, H.B. 507 would make possession of less than an ounce of cannabis punishable by a fine of $100. Under current law, possessing up to two ounces of marijuana can land someone with six months of jail time and a fine.

Saenz said the county has limited resources when young offenders go to jail for marijuana.

It’s costing them thousands of dollars, and he said Moody’s proposal is nothing new.

“In my office when they have a first time offender with less than a third of marijuana, typically we don’t file the case,” Saenz said.

Saenz said it could be beneficial for the Valley.

“Cartel problems, offenders, you got child abuse, individuals that are lurking everywhere,” he said. “So again, any time that the police officer stops what he’s doing for two to three hours, that’s valuable time he could be utilize for fighting other crimes.”

Legislators will consider the bill in 2015, where it first must make it out of committee before it can be voted on by all members of the legislature.

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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