Tag Archives: Marijuana

Legalize It?

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The Texas Tribune reports that Texas Legislators have filed several bills aimed at decriminalization of Marijuana.

Less than a week after several other states approved measures weakening marijuana restrictions, some Texas lawmakers are looking to do the same. 

On Monday, the first day of bill filing for the 2017 legislative session, Lone Star State legislators submitted several proposals to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. Among the bills are those that would create a specialty court for certain first-time marijuana possession offenders, reduce criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and re-classify convictions for possession of small amounts of marijuana. 

Among the Texas proposals that have been filed thus far:

House Bill 58 by state Rep. James White, R-Woodville, would create a specialty court for certain first-time marijuana possession offenders based on the principle that first-time defendants are often self-correcting. The measure is intended to conserve law enforcement and corrections resources, White said in a news release.

State Rep. Joseph “Joe” Moody, D-El Paso, filed House Bill 81, which aims to replace criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana with a civil fine of up to $250. The bill also allows Texans to avoid arrest and possible jail time for possessing a small amount of marijuana. Moody authored a similar bill during the previous legislative session; it did not pass.

State Rep. Harold Dutton Jr., D-Houston, filed House Bill 82, which aims to classify a conviction for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana as a Class C misdemeanor instead of Class B. However, if a person is convicted three times, it would revert back to a Class B misdemeanor. Dutton co-authored a similar bill last session with Moody.

State Sen. José Rodríguez filed Senate Joint Resolution 17, which would allow voters to decide whether marijuana should be legalized in Texas, following the pattern of a number of states.

Senate Joint Resolution 18, also authored by Rodríguez, would allow voters to decide whether to legalize marijuana for medical use if recommended by a health care provider. “It is long past time we allow the people to decide,” Rodríguez said in a statement.

Rodríguez also filed Senate Bill 170, which would change possession of one ounce or less of marijuana from a criminal offense to a civil one.

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Mom Said Smoking all that Dope Would Make You Stupid

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports that a 27-year-old man has been arrested for stealing a life-size Miley Cyrus inflatable doll from an adult video (read porn) store. The doll was found in his backpack along with some marijuana when he was stopped on Wednesday for riding his bicycle the wrong way on a highway frontage road.

About 3:02 p.m. police saw the man rode his bike the wrong way near Interstate Highway 37 and Corn Products Road, according to a Corpus Christi police news release. The officer found marijuana in the man’s pockets. After the officer searched the man’s backpack, he found the life-size Cyrus doll.

The officer knew of a theft reported at an adult video store at 7430 Intestate Highway 37, a few minutes before he made the traffic stop, the release states. After investigation officers found the man matched the description of the person reported to have stolen the inflatable doll, which was estimated at $49.95.

Was that an officially licensed Miley Cyrus doll or a cheap Chinese knock-off?

 

Jonathan Stickland Liked the Weed – A Lot

Rep. and self-styled “former fetus” Jonathan Stickland (TP-Bedford) is trying to move past his on-line record indicating that he condoned marital rape and really liked smoking the marijuana so much so that he was curious about growing his own cannabis.  Stickland, a Tea Party stalwart, now claims that he regrets the on-line trail of evidence he left and that yes, he smoked a few spleefs in his time, but he has repented and been forgiven. Red is the last person to cast stones – unless the target thereof is parading as some holier than thou state representative who is fair game for public comment. Red also believes in forgiveness – but not disremembering.   The Trail Blazers Blog from the Dallas Morning News has more.

Notably, our former poor idiot governor Rick Perry has endorsed Bedford pastor Scott Fisher, who he once appointed to serve on two state commissions.

Dope Smokers Get Free Pass in West Texas

Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West is refusing to take any more marijuana bust cases originating from the Sierra Blanca Border Patrol checkpoint on I-10 in west Texas.  West’s refusal has nothing to do with politics, ideology, Texas law, or the moving trend towards legalization of marijuana.  Rather, West is facing budgetary restraints that make taking the 20 to 30 busts a day an intolerable burden and also take up jail space that the County otherwise rents out for $45 a day.  NPR has the straight dope.

A federal inspection station on Interstate 10 in the West Texas desert earned the nickname “checkpoint of the starsfor all the entertainers who kept getting busted there. In the past six years, Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Nelly and Fiona Apple were all arrested for possession of marijuana.

These days, though, after a decision by a local lawman, everyone from personal pot smokers to medium-size marijuana traffickers can avoid jail.

The Sierra Blanca Border Patrol checkpoint was once the bane of pot smokers driving from Los Angeles to Texas. Green-suited federal agents and their uncanny drug dogs would make 20 to 30 busts a day.

But for the past year, Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West has refused to take any more “checkpoint cases,” even those involving commercial quantities of marijuana worth thousands of dollars.

“I don’t have a problem whatsoever going out there and arresting them,” West says. “I just have a problem making my local taxpayers foot the bill for America’s problem. I’m not gonna do the federal government’s job.”

The checkpoint dispute is not about justice, it’s about money. The sheriff says there were so many checkpoint cases they occupied two of his full-time deputies and a fourth of the space in his county jail. This was OK as long as he was getting federal criminal justice grants, but those have dried up.

“When I occupy one of those beds it takes away from a paying customer back there,” the sheriff says.

His jail is a moneymaker. Like a lot of poor Texas counties, Hudspeth built an oversize jail so it can rent out excess space to other counties at $45 a night per prisoner.

They Wondered Why the Hogs Seemed so Happy

A substantial marijuana growing operation was discovered by hog hunters searching for the destructive pests in the Cooper Wildlife Management Area north of Dallas.  The crop value may have been as much as $6 million. OutdoorHub blows the lid off this one, weeds through tea details to hash out the essential facts and tries to pot this discovery in perspective.

Officials with Texas Parks and Wildlife announced last week that officers raided a large and sophisticated marijuana growing facility in the remote swamps of northeast Texas. About 80 miles north of Dallas and inside the 14,480-acre Cooper Wildlife Management Area, several hog hunters stumbled into a sprawling marijuana farm that held more than 6,500 mature plants.

Texas officials said that if not for the occasional report from hikers, hunters, and other adventurous outdoorsmen, many of these operations would never be found. Even so, illegal marijuana cultivators have learned to avoid the most popular hunting seasons.

“They would’ve folded up shop by October 1 ahead of archery deer season opening, but obviously didn’t figure in the opening of teal and feral hog hunting season in mid-September,” said Texas game warden Steven Stapleton.

The destruction to the habitat and the damage these people did to the environment is probably the worst part,” said Texas Game Warden Chris Fried. “They cut mature hardwood trees, including a pin oak that was at least five foot in diameter, and cleared parts of a levee that will take many years to recover. The chemicals they sprayed, insecticides and pesticides that contaminated the soil and eventually run off into the streams will have lasting impacts.”