The Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas has several bills related to our legislative priorities set to be heard April 6, 2021 in the Criminal Jurisprudence House Committee. The meeting will begin at 1pm or upon adjournment of the House in E2.012.
We’d like to remind all dues paying members that the cost of travel and staying can be covered if needed. Contact Chairman Jeff LeBlanc at Chair@rlctexas.net if you would like to take advantage of this offer.
Cannabis Possession Penalty Reduction
HB 99 – Toth – Relating to the possession of two ounces or less of marihuana; authorizing a fee. (Penalty Reduction)
HB 169 – Thompson, S. – Relating to the criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of Penalty Group 1 controlled substances and marihuana. (Penalty Reduction)
HB 439 – Canales – Relating to the criminal penalties for possession or delivery of marihuana and marihuana concentrate. (Penalty Reduction – Concentrates)
HB 441 – Zwiener – Relating to the criminal and licensing consequences of certain marihuana possession and drug paraphernalia possession offenses; imposing a fee. (Penalty Reduction)
HB 498 – Wu – Relating to the prosecution of and penalties for possession of one ounce or less of marihuana. (Penalty Reduction)
HB 1609 – Corckett – Relating to the criminal penalties for possession of marihuana. (Penalty Reduction)
HB 20 – Murr – Relating to the release of defendants on bail.
HB 921 – White – Relating to the release of defendants on bail.
When it comes to cannabis penalty reduction, the RLCTX has always believed minor possession of cannabis should not result in jail time, but a fine only. Most of these cases result in non violent, and otherwise law abiding citizens, clogging up court dockets and jails unnecessarily. Additionally, currently in Texas while minor possessions of cannabis in its flower form, in most instances, is a misdemeanor, possession of it in concentrate or in a vape pen, which has become more common, is a State Jail Felony. On this matter we simply ask both flower and concentrate be treated equally under the law. Some of the above bills touch on each of these subjects.
On bail reform, the RLCTX firmly believes that the risk of flight and danger to the community should be the detraining factors on bail. Bail reform can result in dangerous criminals not being released on bail simply because they have the financial wealth to afford it, and will result in fewer no risk, non-violent offenders not being held by restrictive bonds. Both of the above bills tackle this issue.
If you cannot make it to Austin, please consider submitting written testimony on these bills. That can be done here anytime through the end of the hearing on Tuesday: https://comments.house.texas.gov/home?c=c220
As always, please contact your local Representatives and let them know you support these bills.
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