Recent Bills Show Movement Toward Marijuana Legalization in Texas | Wilson County Criminal Defense Attorney

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Recent Bills Show Movement Toward Marijuana Legalization in Texas

Posted on in Criminal Defense

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The legalization of marijuana has historically been viewed as a more liberal approach to drug laws, but more and more states across the country are legalizing the substance in one form or another. After recognizing the medical benefits that cannabis has to offer, as well as the lack of sufficient harm that the drug has on users’ health, many lawmakers have accepted that marijuana may not be as bad as history has painted it. Texas has continued to stand its ground on legalizing recreational marijuana use but has offered some leniency regarding medical marijuana—Democratic State Rep. Joe Moody aims to change that.

Two Bills to Change Texas

Over the past few Texas legislature sessions, Moody has been pushing for the change in regard to drug laws throughout the state. He authored House Bill 63, which aimed to decriminalize possession charges of small amounts of marijuana. Though the bill passed with a supermajority in the Texas House of Representatives, the bill was never taken up by the Senate, not even making it to the floor for discussion. This response did not discourage Moody but led him to file another bill this session that will legalize marijuana if it is passed. House Bill 447 would make recreational marijuana legal for those 21 years and older. The bill would continue to outlaw driving under the influence (DUI) of marijuana and would create a taxable market to improve the community. The cannabis products would be taxed by the state at 10 percent, and the revenue would go toward cities, counties, and the Teacher Retirement System. 

How Will the Bill Hold Up?

According to research conducted by the University of Texas (UT) and the Texas Tribune, support for the legalization of marijuana in Texas has increased over the past few years. In a 2015 poll, 42 percent of participants showed support, whereas just four years later, 54 percent showed support for marijuana legalization. Joshua Blank, the research director for The Texas Politics Project at UT Austin, does not see this bill, or any marijuana reform bills passing anytime soon. With COVID-19 still raging, Texas’ response and redistricting is at the forefront of politicians’ focus. The tax benefits of marijuana legalization, however, may outweigh politicians’ personal opinions against the substance. With surrounding states like California and Colorado surpassing $1 billion in revenue since starting their tax programs, the opportunity may be difficult for lawmakers to pass up.

Contact an Atascosa County Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer

As for now, marijuana continues to be illegal for recreational purposes in Texas. Penalties for possession, manufacturing, and/or delivering marijuana can range from 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine to life imprisonment and a hefty $10,000 fine. If you are facing drug charges of any kind, BCP Criminal Defense Attorneys are prepared to help you formulate a defense strategy that will get you through your case. With over 40 years of combined criminal law experience, our legal team has seen the evolution of drug laws in Texas and remain up to date on any recent changes. Call our reputable Jourdanton criminal defense attorneys today at 830-769-1010 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Source:
https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/texas-lawmaker-understands-path-ahead-for-marijuana-legalization 

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