Houston Chronicle: Texas House Panel Approves Legalization Of Marijuana

In a surprise move that supporters called a historic victory, the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee approved legislation Wednesday that would make it legal to buy and sell marijuana in the state.

Two Republicans joined with the panel’s three Democrats in support, giving House Bill 2165 a 5-2 panel victory, writes chron.com.

The bill would make Texas the fifth state in America to OK pot for recreational purposes.

According to chron.com, though, the proposal has virtually no chance of clearing other hurdles on the path to becoming law in this year’s legislative session.

However, the move came just two days after the same panel voted 4-2 in favor of a bill to decriminalize marijuana. That was the first time such a proposal had made it out of a Texas legislative committee, according to chron.com. Initially, the bill failed by a 3-2 vote in committee, but it was brought back up and passed with a 4-2 vote.

That bill that would decriminalize possession of an ounce or less of marijuana was revived and voted out of a Texas House committee, writes sacurrent.com.

The bill is House Bill 507, and it would eliminate jail time and criminal records. Instead, people caught with an ounce or less of pot would pay a fine.

The next step is a vote in the House of Representatives.

The San Antonio chapter for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is already calling San Antonio marijuana advocates to action.

Today the group is working with the Marijuana Policy Project to collect signatures asking Rep. Lyle Larson to schedule the decriminalization proposal for a vote.

There is a companion bill in the Texas Senate, which is still in committee.

(Updated article)

http://www.chron.com/news/politics/texas/article/Texas-House-committee-approves-full-legalization-6247225.php

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