Decriminalization of marijuana in Texas is back on the table as nearly a half dozen bills related to the drug’s use were filed on Monday for the 86th legislative session.
Recreational and most medical uses of marijuana are still prohibited in the state, the exception being low-THC cannabis for qualifying intractable epilepsy patients under the Texas Compassionate Use Program.
Marijuana advocates, who have been pushing for decriminalization and an expansion to the medical program, have gained greater bipartisan support in recent years, said Heather Fazio, director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy.
Lawmakers filed hundreds of bills Monday in advance of the deadline.
Cannabis advocates championed two bills in particular: House Bill 63, which proposes a civil penalty for less than an ounce of marijuana possession instead of arrests, convictions or a criminal record; and Senate Bill 90, which aims to allow more medical conditions to qualify for the state’s medical program, as well as offer greater protections to registered medical professionals prescribing the drug.
Rep. Joe Moody (D-78) who authored House Bill 63 noted the “swell of bipartisan support” for decriminalization of marijuana in the state. [Read more at Houston Chronicle]
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