I have said it many, many times - Texas is a harsh place when it comes to marijuana laws. Unlike other states that allow a citizen initiative to reform marijuana laws, Texas does not have an initiative process. The only way to reform Texas' marijuana laws is via the Texas Legislature. A bill was introduced this week in the Texas Legislature that would reduce penalties for marijuana possession. Per Big Country:
Texas State Representative Joe Moody (D-El Paso) introduced a bill Monday that would reduce state penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Representative Moody announced the details of the bill at a news conference hosted by Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy. He was joined by retired Texas District Court Judge John Delaney and representatives from the coalition including ACLU of Texas, Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition, and the Marijuana Policy Project.
"Our current marijuana policy in Texas just isn't working," Rep. Moody said. "We need a new approach that allows us to more effectively utilize our limited criminal justice resources. This legislation is a much-needed step in the right direction."
It's tough to say at this point whether or not the bill will pass. However, it's encouraging that it was introduced in the first place, and there are a lot of people lobbying the Texas Legislature to pass it. Texas still needs to introduce a bill to legalize medical marijuana, and hopefully we will also see a bill that would completely legalize marijuana for all Texans. If you live in Texas, now is the time to contact your legislators and tell them it's time for a new approach to marijuana policy in Texas, and that marijuana prohibition has been a disaster.