Texas Rejects Bill To Reduce Marijuana Penalties Despite Just 14% Of The State Saying It Should Be Illegal

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Texas lawmakers have dismissed a bill to reduce the penalties for marijuana-related offenses, citing strong opposition to decriminalization despite the fact that a plurality of voters in the state believe the drug should be fully legalized.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick declared the legislation “dead” in the Texas Senate just after the House gave the bill the go-ahead earlier this week. The preliminary approval was granted by the lower chamber by a vote of 103-42. Republican majorities control both chambers of the Texas legislature.

“I join with those House Republicans who oppose this step toward legalization of marijuana,” Patrick added in a tweet on Tuesday.

The legislation would lower marijauna possession of one ounce or less to a “Class C” misdemeanor, putting it in the same criminal classification as a traffic ticket. For those found to possess two ounces or less, the possible penalties include a fine up to $2,000, jail time or both.

Most Texans believe that marijuana should be completely legalized, according to an Emerson College poll released Monday. [Read more at Newsweek]