Texas Lawmakers Tackle Marijuana Decriminalization, Medical Cannabis And Hemp In Committee Hearings

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Cannabis reform is the hot topic in the Texas legislature this week, with lawmakers holding hearings on multiple marijuana decriminalization bills, a proposal to expand the state’s medical cannabis program and another piece of legislation concerning hemp regulations. The bills were separately scheduled for discussion in three House committees throughout the week, raising hopes for advocates that lawmakers may still advance cannabis reform this year despite setbacks from the coronavirus pandemic and the state’s ice storm. Five of the proposals that were heard in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on Tuesday would decriminalize possession of various amounts of marijuana by making it a class C misdemeanor, which does not carry the threat of jail time. The possession thresholds range from one to four ounces. Two bills—HB 99 and HB 441—would further prevent arrests over cannabis possession, which is an important component as Texas police officers are allowed to place people in jail following arrests for low-level misdemeanors even if the charge itself doesn’t include an incarceration penalty. Only HB 441 would additionally prevent the marijuana offenses from being added to a person’s criminal record. Members of the House Judiciary Committee didn’t vote on any of the proposals, but members discussed them at length, with the hearing not wrapping up until Wednesday morning. I just laid a bill out for reducing penalties for small amounts of cannabis in at the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence. Where do I pick up my official house badge for laying out a bill after 5am? Thank you Chair Collier, and see you in public health in 2 hours. #txlege pic.twitter.com/NuWAHq13Su — Erin Zwiener (@ErinForYall) April 7, 2021 A separate bill from Rep. Terry Canales (D) would low penalties for possessing cannabis concentrates, making it a class B misdemeanor to have up to ten grams of…

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Source : Texas Lawmakers Tackle Marijuana Decriminalization, Medical Cannabis And Hemp In Committee Hearings

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