Harris County’s Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program takes effect tomorrow, March 1st.
The new program – put forth by Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg – makes it so that those caught possessing up to four ounces of cannabis within the county will no longer be arrested or charged with a criminal misdemeanor in most instances. Instead they will be mandated to take a four-hour drug education class.
Harris County is by far Texas’ most populated county with over 4.5 million residents. The county includes Houston, the most populated city in the state and the fourth most populated city in the country; its 2 million residents is more than the population of 15 states.
Under current Texas law, possession up to two ounces of cannabis is punishable by a misdemeanor and up to 180 days in jail. Possession two to four ounces is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
As part of the new Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program, those who decide not to take the mandated four hour class will be charged with a marijuana possession misdemeanor.