Wednesday, April 12, 2017

'Don't fill up the jails': An ode to HB 81

Grits has been so busy at work that I forgot to share this here! See a new video from Just Liberty created to promote HB 81 (Moody) reducing the penalty for user-level marijuana possession to a civil infraction punishable with a $250 fine. Folks on the Just Liberty email list already got a sneak preview after they emailed their legislators about the bill. But for the rest of you, check it out:

We came up with the song/video to encourage people to contact their state legislators in support of the bill. (Go here to do that.) Many thanks to producer/guitarist extraordinaire Gabe Rhodes who put the music together, and to Sukyi McMahon who came up with the video content.

Bills reducing penalties for low-level marijuana possession have passed out of the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee several times now, beginning back in 2005, but have never before been graced with a vote from the full House. Perhaps 2017 will be the year we finally get to discover where Texas pols stand on the question.

It's unclear whether the reason legislation reducing pot penalties never passed before was the conspicuous lack of a theme song. But in case that turns out to have been the problem, this year you can check it off the list. :)


Anonymous said...

We're hospice volunteers and have found our hospice patents who use MJ often get it from friends and family. Many of these F&F supplies are LEO with a few who are sworn DEA agents.

Not one sees the disconnect between their day job activities as LEO and F&F MJ suppliers.

Additionally the $250 fine seems a bit high and there is no mention of the other fees that will be tacked on the cash cow by the various jurisdictions.

jD said...

The version of the bill that was approved by House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee (H.C.S.-H.B. No. 81) provides that a county or district attorney may sue an individual who is found to be in possession of one ounce or less of marijuana to collect a "civil penalty," not a fine. The suit must be brought in a justice of the peace court. The maximum amount of the civil penalty is $250, which means the justice of the peace may set the amount at anything less than $250.

Anonymous said...

DWLI fills jails equally as low level pot possessions do. I hate this surcharge law. It only fills jail beds that we need for violent felons.