Dutton’s bill would ease overcrowding in jails
If one Houston lawmaker has his way, a punishment for getting caught with marijuana won’t be as severe as it used to be.
State Representative Harold Dutton's proposed bill would make possession of an ounce of pot just a Class C misdemeanor. That means no jail time. Josh Schimberg is a pro marijuana activist and tells KTRH a bill like this is a good idea.
“It’s a really good step in the right direction. I hope the Republican leadership can get behind it,” Schimberg said.
However, it’s not everything that Schimberg and his group, Texas NORML wants. The group wants something that goes farther.
“Complete end to arresting adults who choose to use marijuana. We don’t arrest and jail adults for choosing to use beer, tobacco and caffeine,” Schimberg stated.
Former State Representative Aaron Pena told KTRH Dutton’s bill won't be easy to pass.
“It’s quite a difficult sell. But there has been a growing sense that our jails are filled with minor drug possessions and there needs to be something done about it,” Pena explained.
Still, Dutton’s bill will face a tough fight during the current legislative session in Austin.
“I would say the chances are pretty much uphill for Mr. Dutton. But if anybody can do it, he certainly can,” Pena said.
This bill isn't the only marijuana bill that will be discussed in Austin. Representative Elliott Naishtat has filed a bill that would give an affirmative defense for people using marijuana based on their doctor's recommendation.