Momentum growing to decriminalize marijuana in Texas

- “Everybody’s younger than I am,” joked Ann Lee.

The 87-year-old Conservative Republican founded the group Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition.

Lee has been pushing for decriminalizing marijuana in Texas for many years.

“How can a country put people in prison for 20 years for possession of marijuana. Where is our moral base,” Lee said. “There’s no moral base at all.”

When lawmakers reconvene in Austin this January they will once again consider removing current criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana replacing them with a civil penalty and fine.

Under current law, possessing two ounces or less of pot is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a 2 thousand dollar fine and 180 days in jail.

“We’re hopeful we’re excited to see it go through the process again,” said Jason Miller with the National Organization for Reform in Marijuana Laws. “We had a lot of support the last time we’re going to have even more support this time.”

“We know that in 2014, 2015 and 2016 there’s been an average of 8000 people who have continued to be jailed on misdemeanor possession of marijuana only,” said Harris County DA-elect Kim Ogg.

Come January, Harris County will see a big change when it comes to prosecuting those caught with small amounts of pot.

“It was my promise to the public that we would not jail misdemeanor offenders from day one,” Ogg said.

Ogg says that move will save the DA’s office and the courts $10 million annually.

Many believe 2017 will be the year marijuana is decriminalized in the entire state.

“I’m very hopeful,” Lee said. “I’m more hopeful than I think I’ve been in all the years I’ve been working on this.” 

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

More from FOX 26 Houston