Bill would prevent 75 Texans from being arrested each year
Texas would become the 25th state in the United States to remove the threat of being imprisoned for possession of small amounts of cannabis under a bill passed by the US House of Representatives this Monday.
The bill, which would punish people in possession of 30 grams or less, a fine of $ 500 instead of arrest and imprisonment, was passed by a vote of 98 to 43.
Representative Joseph Moody, the main sponsor, amended the floor law to gain more support from his colleagues. An earlier version provided for a lower fine of $ 250 and would have treated low level possession as a civil offense rather than a Class C offense, as is the case in the revised proposal.
But its general effects remain the same: no arrest or incarceration for people caught with small amounts of cannabis.
They will also avoid having a long-term criminal record as long as they respect the conditions for exclusion imposed by judges, such as doing community work or completing drug education courses.
"Texans have suffered for too long from the failure of marijuana policies," said Heather Fazio, director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy. "Representative Moody's bill will help preserve the precious resources of public safety and prevent a single charge from derailing a person's life." "
The proposal also provides for a procedure for erasing cannabis-related offenses, which means that they would have no criminal record, which can have long-term consequences for employment, housing, opportunities for training and the ability to maintain a driver's license.