An Argument For Decriminalizing Marijuana Possession

A UT criminologist argues that harsh penalties harm individuals and clog the criminal justice system.

By Michael MarksMay 16, 2019 12:43 pm,

Texas House Bill 63 would lower the penalties for possessing an ounce or less of marijuana, making it a fine-only offense with no jail time. The House approved the measure by over 60 votes. Its chances of becoming a law, however, are slim. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said that the bill will not get a vote in the Senate, that the bill is effectively dead.

William Kelly, director of the Center for Criminology and Criminal Justice Research at the University of Texas at Austin, says that’s a misstep on the part of the lieutenant governor.

“The majority of Texans think that marijuana possession should be decriminalized, including a majority of Republicans,” Kelly says.

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How decriminalizing marijuana could benefit the criminal justice system

– Why reducing penalties for possession could benefit individuals


Written by Shelly Brisbin.