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Texas Could Decriminalize Marijuana in 2015

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Texas Could Decriminalize Marijuana in 2015

Shared by: CannabisNowMagazine

While Texas has a reputation for being a roughneck state where getting caught with even a joint can result in a devious level of pistol-whip prosecution with dire consequences, these Old West policies could soon be a thing of the past with the recent introduction of bill aimed at decriminalizing marijuana in the Lone Star State.

Representative Joe Moody submitted a proposal to the state legislature that, if passed, would strip away the criminal penalties associated with the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and replace them with a $100 fine. Moody, who announced the filing of House Bill 507, stood alongside a backbone council of state marijuana activists, including members of the ACLU and the Marijuana Policy Project, while proclaiming the time has come for Texas to get serious about changing the way it handles pot-related offenses.

“Our current marijuana policy in Texas just isn’t working,” he said. “We need a new approach that allows us to more effectively utilize our limited criminal justice resources. This legislation is a much-needed step in the right direction.”

As it stands, anyone caught in possession of up to 2 ounces of pot can be sentenced to six months in jail and receive a fine of $2,000. Supporters of decriminalization argue the measure is a simple approach to statewide pot reform that will keep thousands of people from being chewed up by the criminal justice system and, at the same time, allow the state to take a small step towards considering legal marijuana on a larger scale.

“Most Americans are fed up with laws that saddle people with criminal records just for possessing a substance that is less harmful than alcohol,” said Heather Fazio, with the Texas chapter of the Marijuana Policy Project. “Texas simply cannot afford to continue arresting and jailing people for marijuana possession.”

Although Texas approved a measure back in 2007 that allows individual municipalities to decriminalize marijuana with cite-and-release programs, most cities have continued to bust stoners simply because there hasn’t been enough support to make the change. Yet, recent polls indicate that 61 percent of Texas residents would like to see decriminalization efforts put into place, while 58 percent would support a measure to legalize a retail marijuana market similar to Colorado andWashington.

Unfortunately, the Lone Star State doesn’t appear to be anywhere near ready to head down the road to full legalization. In fact, drug policy experts say Texas is one of those “third tier” states in which the state government makes the possibility of legalizing weed a veritable pipe dream. Yet, Moody hopes he can rally the support of conservatives with liberal tendencies to help pass his decriminalization bill sometime in 2015.

Mike Adams proudly writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in Cannabis Now Magazine, High Times, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine.

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  • I feel you brother. I’m doing my best to spread the word of this wonderful herb. Thank you for the support!

  • Jrod

    I am a marine (non active) with what I call sever PTSD after serving in Iraq, and marijuana hands down is the best relief I get from the symptoms. Marijuana puts me in touch with peace, and slows the thought process of what I am reflecting on in Iraq and our county to a point where I can see things rationally without being overwhelmed with the guilt and anger. Their is a lot that disgust a returning veteran back home from a war zone that makes one question why one sacrificed so much for many that are so stupid. Marines are use to dealing with things bigger than ourselves in a manner that butts heads with the law, and it can be very frustrating back home when you have to allow police officers, and public officials to act like asses instead of throwing them on their face and zip tying them up (Which is a lot easier to act on, than not). Marijuana allows me to be okay with ignorance, and not be so frustrated with things I can not change alone. It gives a great since of who gives a damn, and allows me to just be a peace with myself. Pills suck, and have only altered my mood in ways that are unpredictable and discomforting. When a doctor prescribes a medications for mood stabilization, he/she really has no idea what the outcome may be until it’s to late. The label on the bottle says “may cause suicide thoughts”. Because it is true, they are unnatural chemicals in your body that cause unnatural things and thoughts.
    Lawmakers in Texas are worried about looking weak, and that is not true because if you where weak the cartels would have cut your heads off by now. You just look stupid, because you think what you are doing is working. I don’t think you care that it is working as much as you do that law enforcement weeps the benefits of seizing money and the property that comes with the arrest to turn in to profit in auctions. Marijuana also gives reasons to dig deeper into peoples personals lives for more prosecutable offenses. Marijuana is a gate way drug alright. A gate way to incarcerate and destroy. Lawmakers want respect, but you don’t want to give any. Let me worry about what happens to my own body, and you worry about you’re own. You don’t protect me on a day to day basis nor anyone else. Law Makers and Enforcement are out numbered 100,000 to 1, and I think we are the ones protecting you by continuing to listen and go along with your ignorance. Sorry, but this rant is just part of PTSD..

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