dallas county

Texas: Dallas Woman Raises Awareness About 'Cite And Release' Marijuana Law

YvetteGbalazehCiteAndRelease[Fox4News.com]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Texas has a law allowing law enforcement to write a ticket rather than taking someone to jail for less than two ounces of marijuana, and it's been on the books since 2007 -- but most cops statewide aren't using it.

That's where Yvette Gbalazeh, a graduate of the University of Houston, comes in. Gbalazeh spends her days educating people about the law, reports Shaun Rabb at Fox 4 News.

"Over the past week, I've spoken to 13 out of the 26 chiefs of police for all the cities in [Dallas] County," Gbalazeh said.

Balch Springs, Texas police are now trying the cite and release option.

“You make an arrest on it, then you have to process the marijuana, you have to put it into evidence or into the property room,” said Lt. Mark Maret with the Balch Springs Police Department. “Plus you go back and you have to file the paperwork, your arrest report for our police department, but then you also have to file all the paperwork to file charges though Dallas County.”

The cite and release bill was written by former state Rep. Jerry Madden of Plano back in 2007. "We passed it as a voluntary law," Madden said.

"We knew it would be voluntary and we knew it would take time and we hope it would just gain strength," Madden said. But Texas law enforcement seemed to prefer to keep arresting people for pot rather than just writing them a ticket for it.

Texas: Dallas County To Experiment With Not Arresting People Caught With Weed

DallasMarijuanaMarch10-18-14

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

People caught with small amounts of marijuana in Dallas may soon be able to avoid going to jail.

County criminal justice officials will pilot a cite-and-release program early next year allowing those caught with less than two ounces of marijuana, a Class B misdmeanor, avoid a trip to jail, reports Matthew Watkins at The Dallas Morning News.

If applied countywide, the change in enforcement policy could result in hundreds fewer arrests each month. The goal, according to officials, is to reduce jail crowding and free up police resources.

"This is about not toying up officers and bringing them back out onto the street," said Ron Stretcher, director of criminal justice for Dallas County.

A Texas law enacted back in 2007 makes the ticket approach possible. The measure, which received little attention when it passed, has been largely ignored since.

The the idea has gained support in recent years, and not just from marijuana advocates. Some conservatives have touted it as a way to save law enforcement money. It costs about $63 a day to house an inmate in the Dallas County Jail.

But the measure is getting some predictable resistance from law enforcement. Dallas Police Association President Ron Pinkston said he'd rather see the Legislature address changes in marijuana laws at the state level; police officers should enforce the laws that are on the books, he said.

Syndicate content