Proposed legislation in Texas seeks to reduce the penalty of possession of less than one ounce of marijuana to a fine of $250. Lawmakers are slated to decide on HB 507 in the near future. A former detective has reportedly participated in a series of television advertisements, proposing that marijuana possession be decriminalized as a drug offense. Texas is said to rank second in the nation in marijuana-related offenses.
The former police officer and narcotics investigator compared the dangers of alcohol use and those of marijuana, stating that alcohol is associated with more potentially dangerous behaviors and crimes. The officer states in the ads that he never once found a person acting under the influence of marijuana in the cases he was involved in throughout his career. He further stated that people acting under the influence of alcohol cause far more problems for law enforcement. He also insinuated that arresting people for possession of marijuana is a waste of time for police officers.
The ads are slated to air on television channels in various Texas cities soon. According to reports, 11 bills in Texas associated with marijuana are currently awaiting the consideration of lawmakers. Hundreds of supporters recently marched in front of the Austin state legislature as advocates for the HB 507 bill. The governor has reportedly expressed his skepticism with regard to the potential passing of the bill, stating that he does not think it will happen during the current congressional session.
Whether HB 507 passes into law remains to be seen. A recent bill was approved that allows the purchasing and selling of marijuana for recreational use in the state. Texas residents will want to remain updated on the pending legislative decisions. Those who are charged with a drug offense related to marijuana possession might wish to seek legal advice from a criminal lawyer. It is helpful to consult with an experienced professional when attempting to prepare one's defense in court.