UPDATE: City Council approved this ordinance 10-5 Wednesday, with Adam McGough, Sandy Greyson, Mike Rawlings, Rickey Don Callahan and Jennifer Staubach Gates in the minority opposition.
Original post below, from April 10:
Dallas Police officers can take people to jail for possessing any amount of marijuana.
But that could change beginning Oct. 1 if City Council approves a “cite-and-release” measure at their Wednesday meeting.
Under the proposal, anyone charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana — up to 4 ounces — could be given a ticket instead of being jailed.
It’s not just marijuana possession. Also included in the measure are misdemeanor offenses for criminal mischief, graffiti, theft, theft of service, contraband in a correctional facility and driving while license is invalid.
This is the second time the council has considered creating this ordinance. A similar proposal failed in 2016.
The measure originally appeared on Wednesday’s agenda as a pilot program that would’ve expired in 2018. But Council Members Scott Griggs, Adam Medrano,Tiffinni Young, Mark Clayton and Philip Kingston pulled that proposal off the agenda and replaced it with one that would be permanent.
Proponents say cite-and-release could cut down on police response times and relieve the county jail of nonviolent offenders.
The criteria for a ticket rather than a trip to jail include:
*Suspect must have a valid ID on his or her person,
*Police will consider prior convictions that could enhance the charge,
*Suspect must be at least 17 years old and
*Must submit a thumbprint and sign a citation.