El Paso Rep. Joe Moody’s Weed Bill Heads for Full Senate Vote
I feel like I'm writing an article like this at least twice a year. Some sort of an update on the decriminalization of marijuana in the state of Texas. Or New Mexico, but that's going to be done soon because that bill got passed. Marijuana is now decriminalized in New Mexico.
So what about Texas? There are a few bills that target marijuana in some way, shape, or form. One has made it's way through the House and through its first Senate committee. Now it's heading to the Texas State Senate for a full vote.
State Rep. Joe Moody’s (D-El Paso) House Bill 2593 is modest in scope compared to some other hopeful bills that were filed earlier this year. It would reduce carrying one ounce of marijuana to a Class C Misdemeanor without the threat of jail. Carrying two ounces of marijuana would still possibly result in jail time. This includes a new category involving oils, lotions, and edibles infused with THC.
This might seem like it's not that big of a deal because other states are decriminalizing marijuana to the point you can go buy it at a store, but this is a big step for Texas. The Lonestar State hasn't reduced drug penalties for marijuana in half a century.
One other bill involving marijuana that is somewhat frustratingly stalled is the popular measure to add conditions like PTSD to medical marijuana prescribed practices. The failure to include PTSD in the state’s previous expansion has been a sore blow to marijuana advocates, particularly those who are armed forces veterans. House Bill 1535 would rectify that and passed the lower chamber with even more bipartisan support than Moody’s decriminalization bill. Only 12 Republicans voted against the measure.
Here's the big race that pops up in my head when we talk about the decriminalization of marijuana. Is the state of Texas going to do it eventually, or will marijuana be decriminalized federally before the Lonestar state can get around to it?