By Sativa Galore
AUSTIN, TX – Two separate Texan lawmakers have filed separate bills in the state legislature to relax marijuana laws in the Lone Star State, although the proposals stop short of decriminalization or the legalization of medical marijuana.
Representative Harold Dutton (D-Houston) has filed a penalty reduction bill that would reclassify possession of up to one ounce of marijuana from a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a maximum $2,000 fine and 180 days in jail, to a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a possible $500 fine and no jail time. While stopping short of decriminalization, the penalty reduction proposal would be significant for a state known to have some of the toughest drug laws in the country.
Meanwhile, Rep. Elliot Naishtat (D-Austin) has filed a bill that would not legalize medical marijuana in Texas, but would provide some protection for medical marijuana patients to avoid punishment.