Although state lawmakers in the House have passed a HB 63, which is a bill that lowers minor possession of marijuana to a Class C misdemeanor, their victory was short-lived. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who controls the state Senate, already has stated that the bill is “dead on arrival.” He reportedly has no interest in decriminalizing any amount of marijuana, as to do so would lead to the legalization of marijuana, which is a path that Texas has long resisted.
Even as other states continue to pass increasingly broad medical marijuana and even some recreational marijuana bills, Texas has remained firm in allowing the use of medical marijuana only to treat otherwise untreatable epilepsy, an extremely narrow exception to the state’s blanket ban on marijuana.
Under HB 63, possession of one ounce or less of marijuana would become a civil penalty rather than a criminal offense; the only punishment possible under this bill would be a fine of up to $250. Currently, possession of this amount of marijuana is a
In 2017, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg infuriated some state officials by enacting a policy that essentially decriminalized possession of less than four ounces of marijuana in the county. Under this policy, individuals will not be arrested, ticketed, or ordered to appear in court if they take a marijuana education class. The District Attorney’s office established the policy to focus more law enforcement efforts toward combatting violent crime and drug trafficking, among other priorities. If you find yourself charged with any type of criminal offense, you need legal advice that only experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys can offer you. As the consequences of any criminal conviction may be severe, you should immediately contact a skilled defense lawyer for help if you have been accused of a criminal offense. Peek & Toland provides strong legal representation on a regular basis for individuals who are charged with various crimes. It is our priority is to represent your interests and protect your rights. Call us at (512) 474-4445 and schedule an appointment to speak with us today.