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El Weekender

No 100

Dallas's "Chill" New Marijuana Laws


By Joan Vasquez

Dallas Lawmakers are taking a new approach when dealing with offenders who are caught with Marijuana.  The new “cite and release” program enables police to cite the offender without keeping them in jail before their court date. Dallas’s new program began on December 1st. The Dallas police department processes about 30 to 40 Marijuana possession cases monthly. Offenders will be cited, fingerprinted, their marijuana confiscated, and the offender is released. Following their release, they will be required to appear before Criminal Court Judge Nancy Mulder, who was made chairperson of the committee overseeing implementation of the program.

Judge Mulder does want to remind recreational Marijuana users who may see this as a free for all, “I do want to be very clear possession of marijuana is still a Class A or Be misdemeanor offense,” the judge explains. “This is not a ticket. It still a criminal offense for which you can go to jail.”
                  Before the new program was introduced, offenders could spend weeks in jail before ever seeing a judge. For most of those offenders, being in jail for a long period of time means the loss of their livelihood and puts families at risk for homelessness.  In addition to keeping the community productive, Dallas Police will also save time and energy that needs to be put towards more dangerous crimes.
                  It is important for everyone to know their rights. Below is information about the new Cite & Release Program .

Cited Sources:

Cite & release: New marijuana policy in Dallas to begin Dec. 1
8:56 PM. CDT October 20, 2017
Tanya Eiserer, WFAA
http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/dallas-county/cite-release-new-marijuana-policy-in-dallas-to-begin-dec-1/484886435

 

What is Dallas County’s new “cite and release” policy all about?
Nov 29, 2017
https://www.bpedlaw.com/dallas-countys-new-cite-release-policy/

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