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Head of Marijuana Policy Project will testify Tuesday in support of removing threat of jail time for possession of small amounts of marijuana

The Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence will hold a hearing Tuesday on a bill to reduce the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana. The hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. CST in Room E2.016 of the State Capitol Extension in Austin.

Under H.B. 184, sponsored by State Rep. Harold V. Dutton Jr. (D-Houston), individuals possessing up to one ounce of marijuana would be charged with a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $500 and no possibility of jail time.

Last June, the Texas Democratic Party officially added marijuana decriminalization to their state party platform. “Since the war on drugs began, 85 percent of the arrests of marijuana have been for possession only,” the platform notes.

Currently, possession of up to two ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas, punishable by up to $2,000 in fines, 180 days in jail, and the suspension of the individual’s driver’s license.

Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project and former Austin resident, will be testifying at the hearing.

WHAT: Hearing on H.B. 184, which would remove the possibility of jail time for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana

WHEN: Tuesday, March 12
Hearing will be held upon adjournment of the House of Representatives session that begins at 10:30 a.m. CST

WHERE: State Capitol Extension, Room E2.016

WHO: House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence
Rob Kampia, executive director, Marijuana Policy Project

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