Update: Pot smokers will get a pass after City Council vote

UPDATE: City Council approved this ordinance 10-5 Wednesday, with Adam McGough, Sandy Greyson, Mike Rawlings, Rickey Don Callahan and Jennifer Staubach Gates in the minority opposition.

Original post below, from April 10: 

Dallas Police officers can take people to jail for possessing any amount of marijuana.

But that could change beginning Oct. 1 if City Council approves a “cite-and-release” measure at their Wednesday meeting.

Under the proposal, anyone charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana — up to 4 ounces — could be given a ticket instead of being jailed.

It’s not just marijuana possession. Also included in the measure are misdemeanor offenses for criminal mischief, graffiti, theft, theft of service, contraband in a correctional facility and driving while license is invalid.

This is the second time the council has considered creating this ordinance. A similar proposal failed in 2016.

The measure originally appeared on Wednesday’s agenda as a pilot program that would’ve expired in 2018. But Council Members Scott Griggs, Adam Medrano,Tiffin​​ni Young, Mark Clayton and Philip Kingston pulled that proposal off the agenda and replaced it with one that would be permanent.

Proponents say cite-and-release could cut down on police response times and relieve the county jail of nonviolent offenders.

The criteria for a ticket rather than a trip to jail include:

*Suspect must have a valid ID on his or her person,

*Police will consider prior convictions that could enhance the charge,

*Suspect must be at least 17 years old and

*Must submit a thumbprint and sign a citation.


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