Signs of a softening attitude toward marijuana have emerged from the Texas House of Representatives. A bill meant to switch possession of one ounce of marijuana or less to a civil infraction instead of a criminal offense has been approved by the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.
A former Texas Christian University quarterback was taken into custody by Dallas police during the early morning hours of March 27 following an alleged drunk driving accident. While Trevone Boykin was not behind the wheel of the car involved, police claim to have found 7 grams of marijuana in a bag the 23-year-old former signal caller is said to have admitted was his. Boykin was transported to the Dallas County Jail for processing, and his bond was subsequently set at $500.
Two Houston rappers who are known as Paul Wall and Baby Bash were cleared by a grand jury on March 21. The pair had been charged along with nine other defendants for organized crime for allegedly participating in a conspiracy to sell THC.
According to a March 7 report, Texas law enforcement agencies have taken multiple people who were believed to be involved in various marijuana fields into custody. Fifteen different marijuana fields have been discovered in multiple East Texas counties since 2015.
Texas leads the nation in the number of people who are convicted of crimes and later exonerated, followed by Illinois. In addition to the problems inherent with wrongful convictions, a study has found that African-Americans were much likelier to be wrongfully convicted of drug offenses, sex assaults and murders than were others.
Two Texas residents were arrested on drug charges on Feb. 16 after authorities found $36,000 of hydroponic marijuana in their vehicle. The incident took place in Jefferson County.
A Texas county is rolling out a new policy to decriminalize low-level possession of marijuana. Harris County is where Houston is located, and the policy will allow those found to be in possession less than four ounces of marijuana to resolve their case by taking a four-hour drug education course. If these people complete the course, they will not receive a ticket or be taken into custody. Furthermore, they will not be required to appear in court.
Two 19-year-old Texas men were taken into police custody after a search warrant was executed at an apartment on Feb. 8. Police reportedly obtained the search warrant for the College Station apartment while they were conducting an investigation into alleged marijuana sales. Both of the men were held at the Brazos County Detention Center before they were released on bond.
On Feb. 2, a 68-year-old man whose sentence was commuted by Barack Obama in 2015 was detained by police in San Antonio on a number of new drug-related charges. Obama in that year had commuted the sentences of many federal inmates who were serving sentences in connection with nonviolent drug crimes.
Texas residents may have heard that Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 330 people convicted of drug crimes on his last day as president. The federal sentences were cut short as part of his final act before leaving office on Jan. 20. In total, Obama commuted the sentences of 1,715 people, which was the most by any president. While in office, he commuted the sentences of 568 inmates who had been sentenced to life in prison.