State Rep. Joe Moody announced at a news conference Monday that he’ll introduce a bill to decriminalize simple marijuana possession in Texas.
“Our current marijuana policy in Texas just isn’t working,” Moody said. He believes his bill is a step in the right direction.
Under House Bill 507, possessing an ounce or less of marijuana is not only a civil — rather than criminal — violation, but police are forbidden from making arrests for simple possession. The court will also have the option of ordering community service.
Current law punishes possession of up to two ounces of marijuana with six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Moody had supporters on hand including the Marijuana Policy Project, ACLU of Texas, a retired judge and even conservatives, according to a statement from Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy.
Ann Lee, executive director of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition, is quoted as saying that marijuana legalization involves core Republican principles like limited government, individual responsibility and personal freedom.
The next action taken on the bill will be after the new year.