Texas House scheduled to vote on cannabis decriminalization bill this week | Cannabis News | San Antonio

click to enlarge Cannabis reform legislation is scheduled for a vote in the Texas House. Its fate is less certain in the Senate, however. - Pexels/ Washarapol D BinYo Jundang

Pexels/ Washarapol D BinYo Jundang

Cannabis reform legislation is scheduled for a vote in the Texas House. Its fate is less certain in the Senate, however.

The Texas House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill that would decriminalize low-level marijuana possession and set up a means for people to expunge past weed arrests.

House Bill 218, penned by Texas Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, will now get a floor vote roughly six weeks after receiving unanimous approval from the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.

Under the measure, possession of up to an ounce of cannabis would be knocked down to a Class C misdemeanor, meaning its punishment would no longer include jail time, only a maximum fine of $500. Additionally, it would create a process through which people with possession convictions can have them expunged from their records.

The House has passed similar decriminalization bills during the 2021 and 2019 legislative sessions. However, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a staunch opponent of cannabis reform, prevented the proposals from moving ahead in the upper chamber, where he controls the agenda.

The upcoming vote on HB 218 also comes shortly after the House approved a bipartisan bill that would grow the state’s limited medical marijuana program. That legislation would open the program to people suffering from pain that would otherwise be treated by opioids and raise the cap on the level of THC allowed in prescribed cannabis.

That measure, House Bill 1805, awaits debate in the senate.

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