The City of El Paso's new cite-and-release initiative will go into effect Tuesday, September 1.

Let’s make this clear from the start, cite-and-release does not mean marijuana in now legal in El Paso County. Weed has not been decriminalized. It simply means officers from the El Paso Police Department will have the option of issuing individuals caught with small amounts of marijuana a ticket instead of making an arrest.

Currently, if EPPD finds a small amounts of marijuana in your possession you will be arrested, booked and charged with either a class B or class A misdemeanor depending on the amount of weed you were busted with. Starting September 1, those caught can be issued a citation to show up to court at a later date, similar to how a traffic ticket works.

What to Know Before You Hold

● The amounts of marijuana possession eligible under the program is 4 ounces or less.

● Holding a misdemeanor amount is not an automatic pass for the offender. It is up to the officer’s discretion to arrest or cite.

● According to the El Paso Times, reasons police may choose to arrest and not cite include if the person is intoxicated, has outstanding warrants, or is generally uncooperative.

For a more in-depth examination on the city’s new marijuana policy, you can read the Times’ article HERE.

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