Texas push to decriminalize pot falters despite GOP support
By CLARICE SILBER
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas' tough stance on marijuana as pot in the U.S. becomes increasingly legal has grounded a bipartisan push in the state to decriminalize minor offenses.
It all but ensures that Texas will remain in the company of more than a dozen states where possessing any amount of pot can result in a criminal record. A Democrat leading the decriminalization effort said political realities in the Texas Capitol forced him to weaken his bill ahead of a key House vote.
The chamber passed the measure on a 98-43 vote on Monday.
The revised measure would reduce penalties for those with an ounce or less of marijuana to a Class C misdemeanor, eliminating arrests but still making possession a crime.
Failure of the bill's original language underscores how politically resistant Texas' GOP leaders are to relaxing marijuana laws.
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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