Marijuana advocates were abuzz last month -- and by "abuzz" we mean excited, of course -- when a bill to reduce penalties for marijuana possession was passed out the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. The bill had been watered down to apply only to people younger than 21, but the Texas chapter of NORML, the national pot-legalization organization, still called it an "amazing step for Texas."
Also encouraging was progress on a medical marijuana bill that would make medical need a valid defense in pot possession cases. The measure, some version of which has been introduced in the past several sessions, got a hearing for the first time ever. Both those bills -- the only pro-marijuana legislation to get any sort of traction this session -- are now officially dead, which isn't to say that marijuana activists are admitting defeat. Dallas Observer has more.