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Citations For Marijuana Possession...But Not In Wichita Falls

Herb Fellow

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A new state law says officers don't have to haul people to jail for misdemeanor marijuana possession. Since September, law enforcement has been encouraged to just write a ticket to help ease jail overcrowding.

Yet, it seems some Texas agencies are against the law and make arrests anyway.

Sargent Joe Snyder with the Wichita Falls Police Department said most of his officers are against the new law. He tells Channel Six News police handle marijuana possession the way they always have.

"Anytime that you have a larger amount of marijuana, surely everbody's going to want the names of all the witnesses and citations don't provide for that, " Sargent Snyder said.

Sargent Snyder said the offense is criminal in any amount and officers will put you in jail for possession. He said the new state law allowing for citations leaves it up to individual law enforcement agencies' discretion.

After the WFPD met with prosecutors and county judges, they all found it's better for Wichita Falls to take suspects to jail. "We also feel like there's a lot of 'givens' that aren't met when you don't put somebody in jail. If you're looking at marijuana possession and you don't have proper ID on your subject, you may never see them again. They may never be prosecuted," Snyder said.

The Travis County Sheriff's Department is the only law enforcement agency in the state known to be taking advantage of the new legislation. Prosecutors there are worried, because they feel people could start to believe marijuana possession isn't any more serious than double parking.

"My answer to that is that has more to do with legislation. We're tasked with enforcement of what laws are on the books," Sargent Snyder said.

So marijuana users, consider this your warning.You will serve jail time if you're found with marijuana in Wichita Falls.

Source: KAUZ Channel 6 News, Texoma's News Station
Copyright: 2008 KAUZ News
Contact: KAUZ Channel 6 News
Website: Citations For Marijuana Possession...But Not In Wichita Falls | KAUZ News Channel 6 | Local Top Stories
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