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Texas marijuana penalty reduction bill sees first action

A bill in the Texas senate which would reduce the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana took the first of many steps today.

SB 170, introduced by Senator José Rodríguez, a Democrat from El Paso, has been referred to the Criminal Justice Committee. The bill would turn possession of less than an ounce of marijuana into a civil fine. Those found in possession would receive a ticket of up to $250 and it would not go on their record, nor would it be considered a conviction.

Those found to be indigent, or unable to pay, by the court may have the fine waived and may instead complete no more than 10 hours of community service.

The fine may also be waived if a person agrees to take a drug education class.

Any marijuana found by police will be kept as evidence until the ticket is paid or otherwise satisfied. At that point it will be disposed of.

Currently those found in possession of two ounces or less are charged with a misdemeanor and can face up to 180 days in jail with a $2,000 fine. They also face an automatic suspension of their driver’s license.

This bill is one of 17 pieces of legislation which have been filed with the state legislature pertaining to cannabis for the 85th legislative session. Its next step will be to pass through a sub-committee before being heard by the full Criminal Justice Committee.

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a 30 year old 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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2 Comments

  1. Vic
    February 3, 2017 at 9:39 am

    As a cancer patient myself, I am tired of ego-driven politicians who vote their personal preferences and not that of the majority of their “so called” constituents.. We hired them to represent voters, not their feelings.

    As voters, we have to let our legislators know we are serious about this. We have to make this a single issue vote for them. Let them know if they vote against Meical Marijuana, we will vote against them. This also goes for the ones on the fence. If they can’t commit to this, we can’t commit to them. Politicians. only respond to what they feel is a threat to their re-election.
    We removed two self-important people last election, one of which personally killed the bill in committee.
    Let’s start voting this as a singe issue election cycle and throw out the bums that refuse to follow the will of the majority of voters in Texas..
    If they won’t listen to voters, we honestly don’t need them representing us.. They aren”t representing us, they are representing their own views and forcing them on everyone in Texas.
    I don’t vote for politicians because I want them to dictate their morals and lifestyle, I vote for them to represent the will of the majority.

    WE NEED TO CONTINUE THROWING THE UNNECESSARY NON-REPRESENTATIVES OUT!

    WE NEED TO LET THEM KNOW OUR VOTES WILL END THEIR POLITICAL CAREER IF THEY DON”T RESPECT THE WILL. OF MAJORITY VOTERS, INCLUDING OUR. SELF-SERVING GOVERNOR.

    Anyone who thinks we shouldn’t have Mexicans in Texas really shouldn”t live here. And they certainly shouldn’t be the Governor.

    It’s time to stand up to our politicians and TELL THEM what we want instead of continuing to allow them to turn that around and telll us what we want.

  2. James butler
    February 8, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    I completely agree with you and I am a patient with Potsdam and I suffer from three phyco logical impairment. And this medicine realy helps me in day to day life as my doctor has asked me how in the hell am I still walking my medical issues are severe and would normally reg multiple surgical procedures with a lot of unneeded pain to follow with a limited mobility ty for saying it so well .I was recently jailed and placed on probation with a lose of my drivers license and unable to work because of it mean while I have to pay probation and a fine and a class I don’t need while having jail hung over my family’s well being