Dallas Officials Approve ‘Cite and Release’ for Minor Marijuana Possession
The Dallas City Council has approved new measures that would allow officers to cite and release citizens who are found with small amounts of marijuana.
The council voted 10-5 in favor of the new policy that would basically change the process of arraignment in cases involving less than 4oz. of marijuana. Going into effect in October, the new policy failed to be passed last year, then by a 5-10 vote, and would have applied to over 400 cases in 2016 alone.
Under the new policy, officers who discover what they believe to be less than 4oz. of marijuana will contact a field supervisor who will arrive on scene, already a standard procedure. The supervisor will test and weigh the marijuana, and then transport it back to evidence. The suspect will then be fingerprinted and sign a summons attesting that they agree to appear in court within two weeks. Failure to appear will then result in a bench warrant issues for the suspect's arrest.
According to D Magazine, the remainder of the process would remain the same, with the possibility of the suspect facing up to a year in jail and probation. Houston has a similar cite and release procedure, but with the inclusion of a 4-hour class of drug education as a possible punishment.