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Texas: Lawmakers Fail to Act on Legislation To Reduce First-Time Cannabis Possession Offenses

Lawmakers have failed to act on House Bill 184, which would have amended minor marijuana possession penalties for certain first-time offenders to a fine-only, Class C misdemeanor, before this session's legislative deadline.

Although members of the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee had approved the measure by a 6-3 vote, the bill never received a House floor vote.

Annually, in Texas some 80,000 citizens are arrested for marijuana violations; an estimated 97% of those arrested and charged for possession alone — not trafficking, cultivation, or sale. House Bill 184 would have significantly reduced state prosecutorial costs associated with these tens of thousands of minor marijuana arrests and encouraged law enforcement resources to be refocused on other, more serious criminal offenses.

NORML would like to acknowledge the incredible work done in support of this measure by our affiliates Texas NORML and Dallas Fort Worth NORML who worked closely with members of the legislature to move this bill out of Committee. We'd like to thank all of NORML supporters in Texas who generated over 2,500 emails in favor of HB 184. Activists expect to revisit this measure in 2015.


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