GENE WU FILES MARIJUANA BILL IN AUSTIN!

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Representative Gene Wu (D-Houston) filed a bill to create a new Class C misdemeanor penalty range for the possession of small amounts of Marijuana. House Bill 325 will make possession of up to 0.35 ounces or 9.9222 grams of Marijuana punishable by a fine of no more than $500.

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“Arrests for very small amounts of Marijuana drain law enforcement resources and divert valuable time away from addressing more serious public safety concerns, like Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Domestic Violence offenses, ” said Wu. “Defendants serving time for low-level Marijuana possession add to jail overcrowding and deplete county coffers without adding to overall community safety. Counties must also provide attorneys to all indigent defendants charged with Class B Marijuana possession; but not for defendants in Class C cases.”

Currently in Texas, possession of up to two ounces or less of Marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor; punishable by up to 6-months in jail, and a fine of up to $2,000. In 2013 alone, Texas law enforcement made over 70,000 arrests for Marijuana possession, accounting for over half of all drug arrests and nearly 8% of all arrests.

HB 325 would lower the penalty ladder for the smallest amounts of Marijuana possession creating a sensible distinction between possession of very small amounts of Marijuana and larger amounts. The bill would also give police officers the option to either arrest or issue a ticket to a person possessing a small amount of Marijuana. Officers would still retain the ability to arrest and search if they choose. Like other Class C offenses, repeat offenses (4 or more) would elevate the charge to a Class B misdemeanor.

“Texas has one of the highest rates in the nation in terms of people arrested for marijuana possession, and some of the harshest penalties,” said Wu. “This bill takes a sensible and cost-effective approach to low-level Marijuana possession, and provides a fiscally responsible solution to an overloaded criminal justice system. I invite my colleagues to support this measure and sign on as co-authors.”

2 Comments

  1. Mary Spraberry February 11, 2015 5:58 pm 

    Representative WU!! I appreciate what you’re doing to reduce punishment for possession of marijuanna!! I however am in favor of marijuanna being LEGALIZED IN TEXAS as in Colorado!! There are GREAT HEALTH BENEFITS in the use of this NATURAL PLANT. It is legal for medical use in over 20 state in America. There are MANY PEOPLE that have been helped with fire medical problems & diseases by using marijuanna!! My own daughter has had to MOVE to Colorado to get pain relief from her endometriosis BTY using this natural plant with NO SIDE EFFECTS, unlike the narco pain meds the doctor gave her For pain relief that had such serious side effects she could not hold down her job & take them!!! Children have had to move with their families to Colorado to be able to use marijuanna for seizure control when the prescriptions the doctor gave the child DID NOTHING to reduce seizures!! CANCER patients can also benefit GREATLY FROM MARIJUANNA use due to the devastating side effects of chemotherapy on nausea and loss of appetite, also pain management without side effects!!! PLEASE DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO PROMOTE THE LEGALIZATION OF THIS BENEFICIAL NATURAL PLANT IN TEXAS, so that our great state does not have to loose more citizens to Colorado or other states. We should have the FREEDOM of any treatment that benefits our health and not have to worry about being arrested, jailed & fined for just trying to benefit from a NATURAL TREATMENT!!! THANK YOU! Mary Spraberry

  2. po April 2, 2015 2:38 pm 

    dont do it

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