In the month of May, decision-making panels in Texas have been assessing the viability of a new bill that has been proposed to decriminalize marijuana, giving more lenient treatment to those in possession of the drug. To go hand in hand with this, an advert is due to appear on the television sets of thousands of Texans across the state, telling residents just what decriminalization of marijuana would mean for Texas. A marijuana support group who are broadcasting the clip on major channels until the decision is made on bill HB 507 backs the advert. This bill proposes that those carrying less than one ounce of the substance will receive a reduced penalty. Currently, if you are caught in possession of less than two ounces of the cannabis drug, you could face up to a $2000 fine and a jail term of up to 6 months.
New Rules for Recreational Use and Not Just Marijuana
To date, Texas has the second highest arrests for marijuana related crimes, and according to statistics, white people are half as likely to be arrested for possession of cannabis as black people are. The proposed bill was approved last week by the Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence and was initially put forward by state representative Joe Moody. The new bill would apply to those who use Marijuana as well as those who use it for recreational use only.
Russell Jones, who was once a police officer for the State of Texas and a detective for narcotics, narrates the advert, comparing the dangers of alcohol to those of marijuana. This is a common comparison that is drawn when discussing the prospect of legalizing marijuana, which is an interesting debate, as it is a well-known fact that alcohol is attributed to many more violent crimes and accidents than cannabis ever has.
In his narrative, Jones explains “I know of no instance in my entire career where someone was acting out under the influence of marijuana.” He goes on to say that “People under the influence of alcohol are much more problematic. Law enforcement officials have more important things to do with their time than arrest people for marijuana possession.”
Of the 11 bills concerning marijuana that Texas officials have been considering, HB 507 is the one that has made it past the most hurdles so far. Supporters of the legalization of the cannabis drug are excited that Texas lawmakers are finally taking marijuana more seriously and having more of an open mind when it comes to the drug.
New Bill Could Legalize Pot Delivery for Texans
With the outlook on the bill looks promising so far, there is more hope for the bill, as it was only last week that another bill was approved, that would permit the sale and distribution for pot delivery across the state. The bill was approved by a bipartisan House committee, which, if that bill goes further, could mean Texas would be a step towards being the fifth state to allow the recreational use of cannabis.