Texas police are changing up how they handle marijuana possession in the state. The state’s largest law enforcement agency is not going to arrest people for low marijuana offenses.
According to a memo seen by The Texas Tribune, as of July 10, all Texas Department of Public Safety officers have been instructed to issue a citation for people with a misdemeanor amount of the suspected drug. This means less than 4 ounces in possession cases.
Those issued a citation for misdemeanor charges still face the same penalties if convicted which means up to a year in jail and fine of $4,000.
“Departmental personnel are expected to continue enforcing marijuana related offenses,” the memo reads. “However, effective immediately, personnel will cite and release for any misdemeanor amount of marijuana.”
“This internal memo was necessary in order to address reports that local prosecutors were interpreting the new statute differently, which was impacting the level of enforcement action law enforcement could take,” the statement also read. “Even in jurisdictions where the local prosecutor will not accept marijuana cases without a quantitative lab report, DPS will continue to enforce the law through available statutory means, including cite and release as an alternative to putting people in jail.