Two Texas Democrats are pushing legislation that would decriminalize marijuana use and are touting research by a conservative think tank to gain support for the bill, the Dallas Observer reported Tuesday
The legislation proposed by state Rep. Elliott Naishtat would remove the penalties for using or prescribing medical marijuana.
Meanwhile, state Rep. Harold Dutton is looking to reduce the punishment for the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana from a Class B to a Class C misdemeanor. A Class B conviction can result in a maximum fine of $2,000 and 180 days in jail. But a Class C conviction under Dutton's measure would mean no prison time and possibly a fine of up to $500.
Bills to decriminalize marijuana have been introduced in the Texas legislature in the past, and they have failed. But this time, the two new measures are expected to receive the support of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank, and the Texas Association of Business. Both groups argue that incarceration for minor drug offenses is too expensive and is hurting the state’s economy.
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