Dallas could soon issue tickets for pot possession

- Carrying a small amount of marijuana in Dallas could soon just lead to a ticket.

On Tuesday the city council’s public safety committee considered whether police should arrest someone with less than 2 ounces of marijuana or write them a ticket instead.

It’s called cite and release. It’s intended to save time and money by keeping people out of jail and allowing police to stay on the streets.

Texas law already allows cities to adopt such policies, but it does not decriminalize marijuana possession.

Those ticketed would still have to appear in court and could still face the same maximum sentence of up to 180 days in jail or a $2,000 fine.

Chief David Brown said he has mixed emotions about the idea.

“There are things we do as law enforcement officers that build toward solving bigger crimes, but they start small,” he said.

“People’s lives are being disrupted. People aren’t going to jail, people are losing their jobs, can’t take care of their family. Let’s let him have some continuity of life for a non-violent offense,” argued Brian Cuban, who supports the cite and release plan.

The committee decided to recommend the changed. It will go before the full council for a vote.

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