Could a possible new bill bring Texas closer to legalizing marijuana?
Some people said they hope so, but others, not so much.
State lawmakers met Tuesday in Austin to consider reducing marijuana penalties in the lone star state.
Under this bill, if a person is found with an ounce or less of marijuana they would be charged with a class C misdemeanor.
And that would only be punishable by a fine of 500 dollars and no jail time.
That's a lot different from the current law.
Cody Ryberg knows all to well what can happen if you're caught with any amount of pot under the current state laws.
"They found a joint roach under my seat and I was sentenced to 90 days in jail," said Cody Ryberg.
Along with a 2,000 dollar fine, and court costs.
"I lost my job, you know it took a big toll on me and my family," said Ryberg.
But that kind of punishment could all change if state lawmakers decide to scale down the penalties if a person is caught with a smaller amount of marijuana.
"See to me I don't think there's nothing wrong with smoking marijuana. I mean it's not like you're killing nobody, it's not like you done blew up somebody's home or something, I don't see what the big deal is," said Erica Carpenter.
The state legislature held a hearing that would remove the possibility of jail time for possession of up to one ounce.
Currently, possession of up to two ounces of pot is a class B misdemeanor.
It comes with a punishment of two grand, six months in jail, and a driver's license suspension.
"An illegal drug is an illegal drug, and the penalties need to be where they are," said District Representative Ralph Sheffield.
Over the past couple of legislative sessions similar bills like this one have been filed, but never make it past committee.
"The rationality behind reducing the penalty to me doesn't really hold up a lot of steam," said Sheffield.
But to people like Cody Ryberg it does.
"I'm all for it, I think that it would be a great thing," Ryberg.
In Texas about 80,000 residents are arrested for marijuana violations.
About 97-percent of those arrested and charged for possession alone.
The last time the state legislature reduced penalties for marijuana was back in 2007.
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