AUSTIN (AP) — Having small amounts of marijuana in Texas would mean a fine and no jail time under a bill advancing in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Cannabis is displayed at a medical marijuana dispensary in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, California. (credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

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The bill that passed the Texas House by a 98-43 vote Monday is a milestone in Texas, where GOP leaders have been resistant to relaxing marijuana laws. It would lower criminal penalties for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana to a Class C misdemeanor.

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Lawmakers say it would help save resources for law enforcement and keep low-level offenders out of the criminal justice system.

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Democrat Rep. Joe Moody changed his original bill that would have decriminalized possession of small amounts of pot. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signaled support last year for reducing penalties to a lower misdemeanor offense but stopped short of publicly endorsing decriminalization.