Dallas Criminal Lawyer: Dallas County to Experiment with Not Arresting People Caught with Marijuana

It's about time! When catching someone a small amount of marijuana, Texas cops have had the option since 2007 to issue them cite and summons - a ticket and order to show up in court later - instead of arresting the person and taking them to jail. This cite and summons option has obvious benefits - saving the cops' time to focus on real crime, saving the taxpayers' money that otherwise would've gone to housing a nonviolent "offender" for hours, days, weeks, or even months, and streamlining the entire process. For some reason, Dallas police (along with a bunch of other city police forces) have stubbornly refused to try this new option. Just back in June 2014, DPD Chief Brown infamously proclaimed that he'd continue locking up people caught with small amounts of marijuana until the legislature forced him to do otherwise. That prompted city counselman Philip Kingston to hilariously quip, "That's dumb on crime."

Well, it looks like Dallas' "dumb on crime" days may be coming to an end. Maybe. DPD and Dallas county have announced an experiment starting next year to start issuing cite and summonses rather than locking people up for marijuana. It's a start. Decriminalization is a must, but this is a step in the right direction.