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Texas Republican Party supports marijuana legalization

Four positions approved by delegates at the Republican Party of Texas convention deal with the decriminalization of marijuana. These platform planks, which were approved on June 16, follow an endorsement of marijuana legalization by the Democratic Party of New York in May.

One position calls for making possession of an ounce or less of marijuana by adults a civil instead of a criminal offense. There would be no jail time and a fine of no more than $100. A second said cannabis should no longer be a Schedule 1 drug. Another requests expansion of a state law dealing with low-THC medical cannabis extracts. Delegates also approved a position stating that hemp should be considered a valuable agricultural product. These are all now the state party's official positions. In 2016, the party also approved positions supporting hemp and expanding medical cannabis. President Trump has said he supports allowing states to make their own laws about legalizing marijuana while U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is supported by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in legislation to legalize hemp.

Under present state law, possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana is a criminal offense. Six months in jail and a fine of as much as $2,000 are potential penalties.

This means that currently, even people who aew charged with possessing only a small amount of marijuana could be facing serious consequences. Whether they are charged with possession charges or more serious charges such as trafficking, they might want to consult an attorney about how best to handle the situation. The attorney may look at the specific circumstances surrounding the case and the evidence the prosecution has. For example, if the evidence was obtained illegally, the case could be dismissed.

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