Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Fine Instead Of Jail Time For Marijuana

A bill that would reduce the penalties for the possession of marijuana in Texas is set to get a hearing Monday.

House Bill 81, authored by Joe Moody (D-El Paso) and Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs), would remove the threat of arrest, jail time and a criminal record for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and replace them with a civil fine of up to $250. Under current Texas law, individuals found in possession of less than two ounces of marijuana can be arrested and given a criminal record, and they face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

“Passing HB 81 would free up police resources and relieve jails, courts and taxpayers of substantial expense and time demands,” said retired Texas District Court Judge John Delaney in a statement from Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy. “Each marijuana arrest uses about 2.5 hours of police time. With 60,000-70,000 people arrested in Texas annually, this is a significant amount of police time that could be devoted to patrolling residential neighborhoods and business locations and responding to emergency calls.”

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Source: KVUE

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