Amid mounting backlog, marijuana bills burning out

AUSTIN -- Time is running out for many issues at the Texas Capitol, as bills to lower or eliminate the penalties for marijuana possession are on the verge of burning out.

Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy released a new television ad Tuesday morning featuring Russell Jones, a retired California narcotics detective who now lives in New Braunfels.

"Law enforcement officials have more important things to do with their time than arresting people for marijuana possession," Jones said in the 30 second spot, which is part of a $10,000 campaign that will air on broadcast and cable channels in Austin, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and San Antonio.


Retired Cop: I Never Encountered A Person 'Acting Out Under The Influence Of Marijuana'


A pro-marijuana ad debuting in Texas on Tuesday showcases a retired police officer who says the state should take a more "sensible" approach to marijuana policies because the drug causes far fewer problems than alcohol.

"I know of no instance in my entire career where someone was acting out under the influence of marijuana," says Russell Jones in the ad supporting a Texas House bill that would decriminalize marijuana, reducing the penalty for possessing less than an ounce to a maximum civil fine of $250. Current state law allows maximum penalties of six months in jail and a $2,000 fine for possessing less than two ounces.


A conservative legislator is fighting for marijuana legalization in Texas because God didn't make a mistake

A controversial marijuana legalization bill is advancing in the Texas legislature and Texas Rep. David Sampson is urging his religiously conservative colleagues to back the bill.

According to Mr. Sampson God doesn't make mistakes, and thus marijuana was no accident or oversight that the government needs to regulate. Sampson has also argued that the government's efforts to regulate marijuana results in the violation of Constitutional rights.


Texas activists march in support of reforming marijuana laws

 Saturday, hundreds of supporters of marijuana reform marched in support of bills in the Texas legislature that could change marijuana laws.

"They want to see change and they want to see it now," said Deputy Director of Texas National Organization for Reforming Marijuana Laws Jax Finkle.  

State lawmakers are facing 11 bills that could change marijuana laws in the Lone Star State this legislative session.
"We're out here to support them and let our representatives and senators know to make sure they take action on these bills," said Finkle.  


Tea Party Texas State Rep: God Wants You To Have Weed

Texas State Rep. David Simpson wants to remove all references to marijuana from the state’s legal code. And he quotes scripture to back him up.


Texas: Has the Legislature's attitude on marijuana shifted?

When a Texas House committee voted Wednesday night to approve a bill that would legalize buying and selling marijuana in the state, pot advocates were downright giddy on social media, even as some acknowledged the measure had little chance of becoming law.

But the vote underscored possibly shifting attitudes in the Legislature, not long ago staunchly against any marijuana legalization measure.

Supporters of loosening marijuana laws have said there seems to be growing interest among some lawmakers to lessen criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of pot and to expand the use of the now-illegal plant for medical purposes.


Texas one step closer to legalizing marijuana with long road ahead

Tim Timmons holds a glass pipe filled with marijuana prior to smoking it at his Garland home October 26, 2010. Timmons, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, has offered to go before the Texas legislature to show lawmakers what a toke looks like and explain the benefits in order to convince them that medical marijuana should be legalized. (COURTNEY PERRY/Staff Photographer)

Texas has taken the first major step toward legalizing marijuana, but with time limited and state leaders’ strongly opposed, it’s unlikely to happen.


Texas Senate Approves Unworkable Medical Marijuana Bill

AUSTIN, TEXAS (HEATHER FAZIO) The Texas State Senate approved a bill 26-5 on Thursday that is intended to allow qualifying patients with intractable seizure conditions to access a marijuana extract containing high levels of cannabidiol, or CBD, and only trace levels of THC. SB 339, introduced by Sen. Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler), will now be considered by the state House of Representatives.


"Sea change" in attitude toward marijuana in Texas

Texas is one of the most conservative states in the nation. But in a part of the country where people joke about Willie Nelson's passion for pot, public attitudes toward legalizing marijuana are dramatically changing.(Photo: KHOU)

Inside an old restaurant a short walk from Allen's Landing, the birthplace of Houston, the Pachyderm Club holds its luncheons.

The group is staunchly Republican, mostly older and Anglo, but with a few younger Asians and Hispanics in the mix. It could easily be mistaken for a small Rotary Club except for the prevalence of elephant lapel pins.

But the most surprising thing about the crowd is another kind of pin, worn by a few of the Pachyderm Club members. "RAMP" is the message, an acronym for Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition.


“Marijuana Oil” Bill OK'd By Texas Senate – But It's Not What You Think

GARLAND (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The Texas Senate approved a limited medical marijuana bill Thursday, authorizing the sale to eligible patients of Cannabidiol oil, (CBD).

The upper chamber voted 26-5 to support the limited legalization.

CBD is isolated by extraction from marijuana, and does not contain Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the component that causes a high. Though the oil is used to help control seizures associated with intractable epilepsy, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recognize CBD as being intended to treat any diseases.

Advocates say intractable epilepsy affects about 150,000 Texans.

Critics of the bill fear it could lead to an abuse of marijuana.


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