A Texas bill introduced for the 2015 legislative session will reduce the criminal penalties for cannabis possession and make possession of small amounts of the plant a low-level misdemeanor.
House Bill 325 (HB325) will alter established law enforcement priorities in the state of Texas if it's passed into law. It has been introduced by Rep. Gene Wu (D-District 137).
This bill aims to relax the state-level restrictions against cannabis by classifying possession of up to 0.35 of an ounce as a Class C misdemeanor. A Class C misdemeanor under Texas law can be punished with fines up to $500, but would not be incarcerated. Under current law, possession of small amounts can be punished with up to 180 days in jail.
Although the passage of HB325 would not mean an immediate end to the war on marijuana, it is still a great step in the right direction. A state like Texas passing a law to partially decriminalize marijuana could be a game changer. It may lead to further measures to relax marijuana laws in the state, and could start the trend of more red states embracing the marijuana revolution.
Activists should embrace any opportunity that they have to make it more difficult for people to be locked in cages for the non-violent non-crime of marijuana possession. Full-blown legalization is on its way whether the prohibitionists like it or not. Measures like HB325 can help grease the wheels on our way toward that inevitable goal!
If you live in the state of Texas, contact your state legislators immediately. It is important for you to politely urge them to co-sponsor this important bill. That is how you can make a difference in the fight against cannabis prohibition. If you live in another state, contact your state legislators and urge them to introduce a supporting bill to HB325 such as our P.E.A.C.E (Preventing Excessive Allocations for Cannabis Enforcement) Act.