Marijuana is still illegal in Texas. We’ve taken one (tiny) step towards a more common-sense marijuana policy in Texas, but we’re a long way from legalization like California, Colorado, or a number of other states. Dallas, however, has started what’s called “cite and release” or “cite and summons.” What does this mean?
If you’re busted for 4 ounces or less of marijuana in the City of Dallas and haven’t committed any other crimes (or have pending arrest warrants) then you won’t be going to jail. Instead of arresting you, impounding your car, and taking you to jail to await trial (unless you can make bail), the police will now give you a summons for when you must appear in court to answer for possession of marijuana. This program has been talked about for years but just started December 1, 2017.
Remember, marijuana is still illegal. This is not decriminalization. Cite and release isn’t “just a ticket” – possession of under 4 ounce of marijuana is still a Class B misdemeanor. The summons isn’t just a ticket – it’s your notice of when and where you’re supposed to appear in court. This new police is a small step towards a more common-sense drug policy where people don’t lose their job and their home over a marijuana case. You still need a good lawyer who knows the law and can defend you in court.