El Paso State Rep Wants To Decriminalize Marijuana
Could marijuana be decriminalized in the State of Texas? An El Paso state rep want to see it happen. Rep. Joe Moody has proposed legislation that would reduce possession of small amounts of marijuana from a criminal penalty to a civil one.
Getting caught with less than an ounce of marijuana under House Bill 81 would mean you would get a ticket for $250, and have to serve up to ten hours of community service, or attend a substance abuse program. Moody says Texas spends upwards of 700 million dollars a year on low-level possession of marijuana crimes and it’s a waste of money and law enforcement resources.
Bob Pena, Executive Director of the Republican Party of El Paso, said marijuana laws need to be strong enough to keep people from using pot. He also said relaxing pot laws gives young people the impression that it's alright to smoke pot.
Rep. Moody introduced a similar bill to the Texas House of Representatives last year. Moody said he has to discuss HB 1 with fellow members of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee before it can be debated in the Texas House of Representatives.