Texas

Thu
07
May

Why the Christian Right Is Backing Marijuana Reform in Texas

Big hair. Big barbecue. Big sky. Big guns. As the saying goes, everything’s bigger in Texas—but the state hardly has an outsize reputation for progressive marijuana reform.

If this legislative session is any indication, that could be changing. While previous sessions have seen one or two marijuana-related bills introduced, 11 bills taking on various facets of marijuana prohibition were introduced this session—including an effort to decriminalize—and on Wednesday the most comprehensive among them survived the Texas House of Representatives Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.

Thu
07
May

Texas House committee OKs full marijuana lega­lization bill

AUSTIN, Texas - A proposal seeking full legalization of marijuana on religious grounds has cleared an unlikely legislative hurdle.

Republican state Rep. David Simpson of Longview argues marijuana comes from God and therefore shouldn't be banned by government.

The tea party stalwart has repeatedly championed what he calls the "Christian case" for legalization.

Simpson's bill (HB 2165) languished for weeks before the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.

Three committee Democrats and two Republicans surprisingly voted to support it Wednesday, though, and it passed 5-2.

That makes Simpson's bill eligible for consideration to reach the House floor before the legislative session ends June 1, although that's still highly unlikely.

Tue
05
May

Moving for Medical Marijuana

Sherise Nipper and her family are going to Colorado.

“My body is tired and there are some days I just feel like I can't get up anymore,” she explains.

The 35-year-old will take part in a 30 day cannabis trial.

“The only reason I can't be healed in Texas is because of politics and to me that's not very fair.”

Seizures have been a part of her life for ten years now after being diagnosed with epilepsy. Despite a cocktail of medications, she still suffers

“In the past 24 hours I've had more than 50 seizures.”

She's taken CBD Oil before which her husband says helped

“ Just in the little bit she's tried it's severely decreased her seizures,” he told FOX 7 reporter Ann Wyatt Little.

Tue
05
May

Texas committee votes to decriminalize marijuana possession

AUSTIN - For the first time, a committee in the Legislature has approved a bill to decriminalize possession of marijuana, a move advocates hailed as a milestone moment in Texas.

The state House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee passed House Bill 507 late Monday, just three days after narrowly voting it down.

Tue
05
May

Medical marijuana, like pot decriminalization, nearly dead in Texas Legislature

AUSTIN -- The chair of the committee that controls the fate of medical marijuana legalization in Texas said Monday that "there are still a lot of questions to be answered" about the legislation, indicating it is unlikely to win approval before next week's deadline.

"The bills need a lot of time and attention," state Rep. Myra Crownover, R-Denton, said in an interview outside a forum here about health issues in the Legislature.

The House Public Health Commitee chair's comments came after a discussion in which she said she had heard "compelling" testimony about possible benefits of marijuana for medical conditions but wanted to study how legalization has played out in states such as Colorado and California.

Mon
04
May

Bill to reduce penalties for marijuana possession advances in Texas House of Representatives

AUSTIN, TEXAS (NBC) - The Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence approved a bill Monday that would reduce state penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. The measure will now advance to the House Calendars Committee.

HB 507, authored by committee vice-chair Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso), would remove the threat of arrest, jail time, and a criminal record for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and replace them with a civil fine of up to $250. Under current Texas law, individuals found in possession of less than two ounces of marijuana can be arrested and given a criminal record, and they face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

Mon
04
May

Hundreds March Through Downtown SA For Marijuana Legalization

Hundreds of people marched in San Antonio in support of reforming the Lone Star State's strict marijuana laws. 

Starting at Maverick Park and ending at the Friendly Spot Ice House, 300 people snaked through downtown Sunday to raise awareness about pot reform efforts at the Capitol. 

Marisa Laufer, an organizer with the Alamo City chapter of National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said a strong presence in San Antonio is vital for weed reform in Texas.

She believes the legalization of marijuana is long overdue and the government is “wasting money criminalizing marijuana.” 

Jamie Balagia, executive director of SA NORML, challenges the Texas government's draconian marijuana laws.

Mon
04
May

San Antonians march to legalize marijuana in Texas

SAN ANTONIO - SA Norml, a chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, held its first rally and march in San Antonio on Sunday.

Dozens of showed up to Maverick Park for the rally before hitting the streets of San Antonio.

"There are a lot of people who are being arrested who are causing no other problem than the mere possession of marijuana,” Jamie Balagia, SA Norml interim executive director, said.

Balagia is one of the dozens here who want Texas lawmakers to legalize marijuana.

"If I smoke marijuana and someone says that's a problem. How is the solution locking me up in a jail or a prison? That is not a solution. That's a problem,” Balagia said.

Sat
02
May

Texas group joins in global march

CORPUS CHRISTI - Buc Days wasn't the only draw for crowds this weekend.

About 120 people, including members of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law's Corpus Christi chapter, marched at McCaughan Park Saturday.

Attorney Kyle Hoelscher, NORML Corpus Christi chapter president, said the group has been active for a year and this is the first time they join in the global marijuana march.

The organization's mission is to promote an understanding of the current laws concerning marijuana in Texas, and in the United States .

"This march is happening everywhere around the planet," Hoelscher said. "We discuss how we can get the law changed and what we can do as citizens to make a change and we plan on doing this march every single year," he said.

Fri
01
May

Texas state trooper suing bosses after being disciplined for photograph with Snoop Dogg

A Texas police officer recently reprimanded by his superiors after he was pictured posing for a photograph with rapper Snoop Dogg is suing his bosses.

The incident in question took place at South By Southwest music festival in Austin at the end of March, when Snoop Dogg was delivering a keynote speech and state trooper Billy Spears was patrolling. Snoop Dogg, real name Calvin Broadus, is thought to have asked for the photo with Spears, later posting the image to his Instagram account with the caption: "Me n my deputy dogg". See the photo above.

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