Marijuana Penalty Reduction Bills Filed in Texas

Marijuana Penalty Reduction Bills Filed in Texas

AUSTIN, TX – Two separate Texan lawmakers have filed separate bills in the state legislature to relax marijuana laws in the Lone Star State, although the proposals stop short of decriminalization or the legalization of medical marijuana.

Representative Harold Dutton (D-Houston) has filed a penalty reduction bill, HB 182, that would reclassify possession of up to one ounce of marijuana from a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a maximum $2,000 fine and 180 days in jail, to a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a possible $500 fine and no jail time. While stopping short of decriminalization, the penalty reduction proposal would be significant for a state known to have some of the toughest drug laws in the country.

Meanwhile, Rep. Elliot Naishtat (D-Austin) has filed a bill that would not legalize medical marijuana in Texas, but would provide some protection for medical marijuana patients to avoid punishment.

Under his bill, HB 594, a person arrested for marijuana could enter evidence that their doctor gave instructions that use of the drug could provide benefits for their illness, leading to a dismissal of the charges. The bill also provides protections for physicians who recommend marijuana use to their patients.

The Marijuana Policy Project is supporting the bill, while still calling it, “far from perfect.”

“Patients would not be protected from arrest and would have no legal way to obtain marijuana. Still, it’s a significant improvement over current Texas law,” said Dan Riffle of the Marijuana Policy Project.

Over the past 10 years, various efforts have failed to win approval in the Texas Legislature to legalize marijuana for medical uses.

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  • Andrew Petersen

    It’s a Start..especially when you consider how much of the drug traffic over the Tex/Mex border is just Pot.

    • KB

      I know thats right .. stop funding the those F@#$ cartels Let my people work! if this works this might even be the answer to end a drug war in mex ; Who knows! If Tx HB 594 passed.. I feel like anything is possible…
      The Solution is Green………….KB

  • Lonnie McVaigh

    Texas is a good example of a poor State Government. Right now, we have a
    bill in our House HB 594 that is professing now to allow Medical Doctors to not
    have to LIE to their Patients who are in Pain that they believe could be helped
    by the use of Medical Marijuana.

    It’s great that they seem to want to protect the Medical Profession from
    Legal harm regarding their State Licenses to Practice in Texas and be truthful.
    However, in this bill there is no provision to keep the Patient who acts on this
    advice from being Arrested, Incarcerated and forced to hire Legal Representation
    in hopes that the Judge will forego punishments for the Medical Use of

    It just goes to show the Corruption of our Department of
    Justice regarding the equal protection of the laws written whereas only the
    Business Aspects of Humanitarian Medicine to make profits from the continued
    Suffering of those who are in Pain. A good effort by a Democrat from Austin to
    open the door that our State GOP has forced it written only to promote
    the Wealthy Business Community in order to make it even be considered for
    passage. May God PUNISH the GREEDY TEXAS Republican Government for this act of

    I respect though the Democrats who wrote it this way for the
    reasons stated… To be HUMANE a DOG is not required, only Human-Like Behavior
    and to be a CHRISTIAN requires one only to try to be CHRIST-LIKE. We here in
    Texas have missed the mark on both of these actions especially our State
    Republican Representatives who used to be reliable conservatives that I could
    support… I will vote Democrat until this aspect changes… -LONNIE MCVAIGH,

  • confused

    Gov Perry has so many people lining his pockets over here. It will never pass. He will NEVER sign any bill for anything that has to do with weed reform. He gets too much money to keep it the way it is. The police are extremely corrupt here. Its really scarey. Austin is ridiculous.. Almost a police state. Mexico needs to legalize.

    • KB

      From what I hear from the news and family it might as well be.. those cartel have control over everything and everyone. I got family and the news is almost never good.. people don’t think that there is thousands of people just taking the hits caught up in a crossfire that they didn’t ask for, there is NO Freedom in Mex.. just extortion!& thats something to think about…

  • Michael Hansen

    I don’t see why they feel like they are helping by keeping the laws so high, they say it ruins lives but that is only because they make it ruin lives.

  • KB

    God Bless America… thanks for the update.. D.S! it’s about time that Tx gets a chance..
    2013 is truly the year of opportunity… happy toking… KB