House Bill 63 would reduce penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana from a class B misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail, to a civil offense punishable by a $250 fine only.
The bill was approved by the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee last month by a 5-2 vote.
Thursday will be the first time in decades that marijuana decriminalization will be discussed on the House Floor.
It is essential to continue to build momentum behind this important piece of legislation so that minor marijuana possession offenders, many of them young people, are no longer saddled with a criminal record and the lifelong penalties and stigma associated with it.
The consideration of HB 63 on the House floor comes just days after the state’s House of Representatives approved an industrial hemp production bill, and after a separate House committee approved a bill to expand access to medical cannabis for Texas patients.