El Paso City Council to Discuss Implementing Cite and Release for Minor Marijuana Possession
Doobie, or not doobie?
That is the question city council will consider at the next regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12, regarding the implementation of a program for those caught with small amounts of marijuana that state lawmakers granted the criminal justice system in 2007.
Representatives Sam Morgan and Alexsandra Annello have introduced an agenda item for “discussion and action" of a Cite and Release program for Class A and B possession of marijuana. The reps want council to approve a resolution allowing law enforcement to cite individuals caught with small amounts of pot and turning them loose instead of immediately hauling them off to jail.
Cite and Release refers to House Bill 2391 which was passed in 2007 by the Texas legislature.
Currently, if you are caught with small amounts of marijuana you will be arrested, booked and charged with either a class B or class A misdemeanor depending on the amount of weed you have on you. Under the new option reps Annello and Morgan want the city to enact, an individual will instead be given a citation to appear in court.
According to the summary form filed by them, passing the resolution “is in the best interest of the City of El Paso and its citizens.”
It states that misdemeanor possession of marijuana results "in a significant drain on our police department, pretrial services and court resources, requiring countless man hours and tax dollars to arrest, transport, book, supervise, coordinate, and process paperwork for each alleged offender."
Enacting a cite and release policy will “further the goals of reducing jail population for non-violent offenders, reducing the time officers spend on jail processing procedures, and improving response times by getting officers back into service quicker.”
You can read the entire agenda item and resolution HERE.