Texas: Harris County DA Presents Plan To Decriminalize Minor Marijuana Offenses

Mayor Sylvester Turner is reviewing a proposal from Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg that, once implemented, will decriminalize some marijuana possession offenses.

The policy, which goes into effect on March 1, is known as the Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program, a pre-charge diversion program for individuals who meet certain criteria, and are in possession of four ounces or less of marijuana.

Those who qualify will not be arrested, ticketed, or required to go to court if they agree to take a four-hour drug education course.

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Hundreds of Texans try to convince lawmakers to recalibrate marijuana laws

Hundreds of Texans try to convince lawmakers to recalibrate marijuana laws

Hundreds of Texans lobbied lawmakers for marijuana policy reform on Wednesday at the State Capitol.

"It's not your 'stoners.'  You're looking at seniors, you're looking at people who are coming in with medical conditions," said Dawn Brooks with Texas NORML.

Last session, Governor Abbott signed off on a law that allows the limited use of cannabis oil which was a pretty big deal.  But only those with intractable epilepsy can take advantage of it.

The Governor made it clear he wasn't on board for much more leeway than that.


Moms Secretly Treating Postpartum Depression With Marijuana

Her long brown hair hangs over her face, her big brown eyes full of wonder, she has an ease about her which she’ll tell you doesn’t come easy.

At first glance, she doesn’t look like a mom of three. On most days, if it’s not the baby tugging on her leg, it’s her toddler but she’s learned to keep moving by wrapping the baby on her back, carrying the toddler and guiding her eldest.


Which States Will Legalize Marijuana Next? List Of East Coast States And More Considering Changing Pot Laws

The votes were counted, the oath was taken and Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States Friday. However, a new president isn’t the only thing Americans received as a result of the 2016 election — a slew of citizens got sweet changes to marijuana laws after nine states legalized cannabis in some capacity.

With a new leader of the republic, there are bound to be changes ahead regarding many policies and practices in the U.S. Trump has already said the first of his executive orders would change immigration rules and Obamacare, and advance plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Meanwhile,  states where marijuana was legalized were beginning to structure and implement regulations.


Republicans are pushing for marijuana legalization in Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah

More than half of US states—28—have legalized medical marijuana. Sixty percent of Americans support legalization, according to an October 2016 Gallup poll—including 42% of Republicans. Some of these cannabis supporters live in conservative states, and some are even in their state’s legislature, supporting marijuana reform measures.


Texas marijuana advocates push for policy reform at the capitol

Over the last few months, a handful of states has legalized marijuana.

Texas is not included, but Saturday, a number of organizations working to reform laws related to marijuana, said they're hoping it will be in the near future.

They hosted a "Texans For Responsible Marijuana Policy" advocacy training for the public at the Texas state capitol to try and get people on board.

The organizations at Saturday's training hoped to educate people on how to push for reform in marijuana policy. They talked to attendees about the bills they want to see passed and how to talk to lawmakers.

The bills are listed below:


Busted in Texas, Marijuana-Smoking Granddad Vows to Fight Back

Phillip Blanton is the type of red-blooded, honest American who, when the time comes to visit his terminally ill granddaughter four states away, hops in the car and drives there.

The bearded and rawboned 67-year-old former prison counselor lives in Newman, California, one of the countless dusty towns dotting the state’s interminable Central Valley—for the uninitiated, the Golden State’s own “Trump County.” He began 2017 on the open road, heading out via the West’s great freedom-casting freeways to Houston, where his 20-year-old granddaughter is afflicted with stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma.


Texas Lawmakers Consider Reforming Marijuana Laws

Several bills pre-filed in 2017 legislature.

Several bills filed by Texas lawmakers would decriminalize marijuana in the state, or at least allow it for medical reasons.

The 2017 session begins Tuesday.

"I believe Texas is at a tipping point where we're seeing the rest of the country having a sensible marijuana policy,” said Shaun McAlister of Arlington, the leader of DFW NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Eight states have now legalized marijuana possession. Some 28 allow it to be used for medicinal purposes. 

But critics, like recently retired Texas Department of Public Safety narcotics agent Corky Schalchlin of Frisco, don’t see any changes coming.


Houston Police Chief and DA plan to ease up on marijuana punishments

Top Houston area law and order officials are taking a softer tone when it comes to marijuana. It marks a dramatic shift in the way marijuana laws could be enforced locally.

New Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg beat out Devon Anderson on a platform that included marijuana and drug law reform.

"I never felt it was fair to put users in jails with murderers," said Ogg.

Ogg now vows to follow through on her campaign promises to ensure misdemeanor marijuana possession suspects don't end up in jail. And she's not alone.

New Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has expressed support for the plan and just last week HPD's new chief Art Acevedo also voiced support for marijuana law reform in a radio interview with advocate Dean Becker.


7 States To Watch In 2017 For Marijuana Legalization

Voters in eight states passed marijuana legalization laws following the 2016 presidential election, giving the legalization movement the required momentum for more states across the country to carry out discussions on the decriminalization of cannabis in 2017.

Here are seven states to watch that are gearing up to legalize cannabis in 2017:


The recreational legalization of cannabis is expected to be discussed by the state’s officials in early 2017. Sen. Margaret Rose Henry, during a Medical Marijuana Act Oversight Committee meeting in October 2016, said: “It’s time to certainly look at it.”


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