By Nick Russo

There has been a ton of chatter online lately about Harris County’s new marijuana policy and there seems to be quite a bit of confusion surrounding the new policy. New DA, Kim Ogg, has written up a policy that has been agreed upon with the Houston Police Department regarding the enforcement of marijuana laws in Harris County. This new policy is meant to stop overcrowding of jails, court rooms and open up the law enforcement’s man power.

Here are 5 things you need to know about this new policy:

  1. Marijuana has NOT been legalized in Harris County – This new policy is being referred to as a cite and release program not a decriminalization or legalization policy. 
  2. You Can Still Be Sentenced To Jail Time – While first time offenders may be off the hook with a course similar to that of defensive driving but repeat offenders will still be prosecuted accordingly.
  3. This is for MISDEMEANOR marijuana charges – Essentially, if a person is caught with less than 4 ounces of marijuana and meets the criteria of a misdemeanor charge they will be given a citation and asked to appear in court at a later day rather than being taken to jail.
  4. The New Policy Is An Assistance Measure To Our LEOs and Courts – The intent is not to encourage or give an incentive for using marijuana. It’s an attempt to focus manpower on more grave crimes and concerns and free up tax payers dollars for other important means.
  5. This Is for Harris County Only – Make no mistake, surrounding counties are not currently enforcing the same policy. Nothing has changed for the counties surrounding Harris County. The policy takes effect March 1, 2017.  

I think it’s important for everyone to understand the new policy because there is a ton of misinformation circulating regarding the new marijuana policy. For more be sure to check out this LINK.

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