Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Passes Committee With GOP Support
House Bill 81 has gotten some traction recently with the decriminalization of marijuana becoming more and more common across the United States. This bill isn't like what's happened in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, etc. Basically, it makes being caught with less than an ounce of marijuana a civil offense, not a criminal offense. Rather than doing jail time and having it go on your record, it'll be a simple $250 fine.
The bill was authored by Joe Moody, D-El Paso, and has been presented a couple times, but been shot down. This is the furthest the bill has gone. With a vote of 4-2, the committee approved House Bill 81. Does this mean you're good to go as long as you have less than an ounce? Nope. That's still down the road, but we are moving in the right direction.
There is a stipulation that has been added to the bill though. It was added that a judge can elevate the civil offense to a Class C misdemeanor if the violator has been cited three times for a small amount of marijuana.