Texas’ Most Populous County Decriminalizing First Time Cannabis Possession on January 1st

harris countyBeginning January 1st, the possession of up to two ounces of cannabis will no longer be a criminal charge in Harris County, the most populous county in Texas and the third most populous county in the United States, District Attorney Devon Anderson announced today.

According to Anderson, when someone is caught possessing up to two ounces of cannabis for the first time, police officers will be mandated to offer a diversion program rather than arresting them and charging them with a misdemeanor that’s punishable by up to 180 days in jail.

“It frees up space in jail”, says Anderson. “It minimizes the administrative burden that officers face when filing charges. It reduces the cost for prosecution and court proceedings. And of course, it gives the offender an opportunity to have a completely clean record”.

Anderson said that although the change only effects first time offenders, that may change in the future to also include repeat offenders.

TheJointBlog

3 thoughts on “Texas’ Most Populous County Decriminalizing First Time Cannabis Possession on January 1st”

  1. “The more obvious the failure becomes, the more shamelessly they [the prohibitionists] exhibit their genuine motives. In plain words, what moves them is the psychological aberration called sadism. They lust to inflict inconvenience, discomfort, and whenever possible, disgrace upon the persons they hate — which is to say, upon everyone who is free from their barbarous theological superstitions, and is having a better time in the world than they are.”

    “They cannot stop the use of alcohol, nor even appreciably diminish it, but they can badger and annoy everyone who seeks to use it decently, and they can fill the jails with men taken for purely artificial offences, and they can get satisfaction thereby for the Puritan yearning to browbeat and injure, to torture and terrorize, to punish and humiliate all who show any sign of being happy. And all this they can do with a safe line of policemen and judges in front of them; always they can do it without personal risk.”

    —an extract from “Notes on Democracy” by Henry Louis Mencken, written in 1926, during alcohol prohibition, 1919-1933

    “What of the cripple who hates dancers? What of the ox who loves his yoke and deems the elk and deer of the forest stray and vagrant things? What of the old serpent who cannot shed his skin, and calls all others naked and shameless? And of him who comes early to the wedding-feast, and when over-fed and tired goes his way saying that all feasts are violation and all feasters lawbreakers?”
    —Khalil Gibran

  2. This isn’t decriminalization. This is forced treatment and community service, and only for first time offenders. Decriminalization is a fine and no jail time. It has some significance, but not as much as real decriminalization would be.

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