The Texas House ran out of time to meet the deadline to have HB 81 heard on Thursday. HB 81 sought to decriminalize possession of an ounce or less of marijuana to just a civil violation.
HB 81 and other bills are considered stand-alone legislation for now, according to Statesman. Lead sponsors Representative Joe Moody and Representative Jason Isaac feared that time would be the issue. The two even thought about adding it to another piece of legislation as an amendment to get the issue heard.
The last time Texas looked at its marijuana policies was 1973. Possession was reduced from felony status to misdemeanor status at that time.
If HB 81 received a vote, passed and obtained the Governor’s signature, penalties would have a maximum fine of $250 with community service or substance-abuse education instead.
Current Texas law remains in place, which lists possessing 2-ounces or less of marijuana in the Class B misdemeanor category. Also attached is a fine up to $2,000 and six months jail time.
Lawmakers were also trying to pass legislation on HB 2107, the medical marijuana bill, and HB 3587 to allow industrial hemp production in the state also died this session.
Lawmakers do expect to bring all three issues back up for debate in the new legislative session.