Discussing the changes to the bill, Moody explained why compromise was needed to pass a bill seeking to decriminalise cannabis, a drug, in a deeply conservative state:
“Although this compromise isn’t as far as I’d like to go, I’m not going to sacrifice the good for the perfect.
“If this is what we can do, then this is what we must do.“
Heather Fazio, director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, commended the proposals in Moody’s bill, saying:
“Texans have suffered under failing marijuana policies for far too long.
“Rep. Moody’s bill will help preserve valuable public safety resources and keep a marijuana charge from derailing someone’s life.”
The Republican Governor for Texas, Greg Abbott, opposed legalising cannabis overall, but sees the merits in decriminalisation, especially in its impact on Texas’ swelling prison population:
“One thing I don’t want to see is jails stockpiled with people who have possession of a small amount of marijuana.
“I would be open to talking to the legislature about reducing the penalty for possession of two ounces or less from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class C misdemeanor.”