A bill that would effectively decriminalize possession of a small amount of pot in Texas cleared its first major hurdle on Monday.
The House Criminal Jurisprudence committee approved House Bill 81. The bill would make possession of up to an ounce of marijuana punishable by a fine of $250 instead of a criminal charge.
In addition, a person could not be arrested solely for possession of the small amount of pot. However, a third violation would increase the fine to $500 as a Class C misdemeanor.
The bill now moves on to the full House for consideration.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has previously stated Texas won’t legalize marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes while he is in office.