By Steve Elliott
Students at the University of Texas are proposing a bill that would be the first of its kind on any campus in the United States: It would stop university police from arresting anyone for marijuana possession, instead giving them a citation similar to a traffic ticket.
Twelve authors are proposing the bill in the UT Student Government, according to graduate student Robert Love, who said tobacco smoking and second-hand smoke are much bigger problems on campus than is cannabis, reports Kris Betts at KVUE.
"Marijuana is not a threat to safety on campus, so let's take resources away from marijuana and put it toward things that are dangerous to students," Love said.
The proposed student government bill would ask UT police to issue citations for all marijuana possession cases under four ounces, instead of making arrests.
"I want to make sure that they have the availability to spend those resources investigating violent crime, rather than forcing them to investigate marijuana crimes on campus," Love said.
Travis County, Texas, where the University is located, currently allows officers to either make an arrest or issue a citation at their discretion. Love says that can encourage racial profiling.
"Citations should be the standard, and that way blacks, white and Latinos get the same treatment under the law," he said.