Texas is really loosening up with its marijuana laws, with now three large counties decriminalizing marijuana. San Antonio is in Bexar County and they have just begun a cite and release program for possession of four ounces or less.
A number of states have decriminalized marijuana recently and it begs the question whether full legalization of medical marijuana is soon coming to San Antonio and the rest of Texas. Do you believe that recreational marijuana will ever be legal in Texas? Is decriminalization the first step to legalization?
Following plans in Harris County and Dallas, Texas to decriminalize cannabis possession up to 4 ounces, officials in Bexar County have announced their own plans for a “cite and release” program. The program would include Class A and Class B cannabis offenses — possession of up to 4 ounces; criminal mischief; Class B theft; Class B theft of service; and driving with an invalid license.
The new rules would see offenders receive a violation citation instead of being arrested and charged with a misdemeanor; however, those charged will have to complete a diversion program before the charge is dismissed.
District Attorney Nico LaHood said the program will help “balance community safety, fiscal responsibility for taxpayers and opportunities for the citizen accused.”
“When utilized, this program will allow officers to stay on our streets and continue to protect our community, help reduce the burden on our criminal justice system and at the same time, allow the citizen accused an opportunity to learn from a poor choice without having the stigma of an arrest hanging over their head,” he said in a press release.
Bexar County is the fourth most populous county in Texas, the 17th most populous in the nation, and home to San Antonio, the seventh largest city in the U.S.