By Trey Rusk
Texans caught with small amounts of marijuana could receive a fine rather than jail time under a bill that passed a state House committee.
I'm a retired cop and it's true that I hold conservative views but this is the right thing to do.
Currently any amount of marijuana possession in Texas is a criminal offense. For years the Texas courts have ruined futures for teens who have been caught experimenting with small amounts of marijuana.
The life long stain caused by one indiscretion have caused our children to be denied entrance into colleges, vocational studies, the military and not be able to obtain clearances for some government jobs.
I am not an advocate for possession of small amounts of marijuana. However, I believe the de-criminalization of small amounts of marijuana will free up our courts and police to do more important things.
State Representative Joe Moody of El Paso has filed HB-63 that would make less than an ounce of marijuana a civil penalty. The civil fine imposed could not be above $250 and no jail time. Members of the House Committee forwarded the bill with a vote of 5 to 4 in favor of the legislation.
I want to be clear about this topic. I believe marijuana can be a gateway drug for some people but I believe alcohol has ruined more lives than any other drug. At some point people are responsible for their own actions. The drug record associated with less than 1 ounce of marijuana needs to be eliminated.
The same stigma is not attached to the criminal charge of possession of alcohol by a minor. Why? Alcohol has been linked directly to the deaths of far more people than marijuana ever will be.
That's the way I see it.