GOP Texas Governor Says People Shouldn’t Be Jailed Over Marijuana Possession, But Misstates Current Law

MJ moment

The governor of Texas said on Monday that he doesn’t believe people should be incarcerated over low-level marijuana possession, effectively endorsing decriminalization on the same day that Austin officials certified a ballot initiative to enact the reform on the local level. But he also went on to incorrectly suggest that lawmakers have already adopted the policy statewide. It’s not the first time that Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has expressed support for moderate cannabis reform, but it’s a notable remark from a Republican governor nonetheless. Pressed about broader cannabis legalization at a campaign press event, Abbott emphasized that Texas is “making steps in that regard” to decrease marijuana penalties, though he misstated the current law. “Marijuana is now a Class C misdemeanor in the state of Texas and so one thing that that I believe in—and I believe the state legislature believes in—and that is prison and jail is a place for dangerous criminals who may harm others, and small possession of marijuana is not the type of violation that we want to stockpile jails with,” he said. Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX): “Small possession of marijuana is not the type of violation that we want to stockpile jails with.” pic.twitter.com/rnk7YWBCF7 — The Recount (@therecount) January 10, 2022 Advocates were quick to point out that Abbott mischaracterized Texas’s marijuana policy, as possession of up to two ounces of cannabis actually remains a Class B misdemeanor—not class C—that carries a penalty of up to 180 days in jail and a maximum $2,000 fine. A Class C misdemeanor would be punishable by up to a $500 fine without the threat of jail time, a policy that activists often refer to as decriminalization. Abbott made similar comments during a debate in 2018, saying, “One thing I don’t want to see is jails stockpiled with people…

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Source : GOP Texas Governor Says People Shouldn’t Be Jailed Over Marijuana Possession, But Misstates Current Law

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