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Law Enforcement Will Pick And Choose

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
While the state provides options, police and sheriff's department officials promise trips to jail for those caught carrying pot.

Effective today, law enforcement agencies across the state of Texas have the discretion to decide if people in possession of 4 ounces or less of marijuana will be cited or if they will go to jail. But Midland officials say they have no plans to write a citation for the offense.

"If they're stupid enough to violate the law, they're stupid enough to go to jail," said Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter.

Painter said as far as the Sheriff's Office is concerned, anyone with any amount of marijuana found in their possession will be arrested.

"I believe if you have any amount of marijuana, you should be placed in jail," Painter added.

Interim Police Chief Price Robinson said possession of less than 2 ounces is a Class B misdemeanor and possession of between 2 and 4 ounces is a Class A misdemeanor.

The bill signed by Gov. Rick Perry on June 15 received little opposition in the Texas House or Senate. It also authorizes law enforcement officers to issue citations for other Class A or Class B misdemeanors such as driving without a valid license, and leaving graffiti where damage is less than $500, provided the person resides in the county where the offense occurred. The punishment allowed for such crimes was not changed by the bill.

Both Painter and Robinson said they have been writing tickets rather than making arrests for some minor Class A and B misdemeanor violations for more than five years, but narcotics offenses, including those involving marijuana, have and will continute to mean a trip to jail.

"We have never written a notice to appear citation for any amount of narcotics, nor will we in the future," Painter said.

Officials of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington said Texas House Bill 2391 will not only save taxpayers money, but will also make the streets of Texas safer if law enforcement agencies decide to use it.

"This law is good for Texas because each marijuana arrest costs Texas taxpayers $2,000, takes a police officer off the street for three to four hours and fills a space in jail that should instead be used to house a violent criminal," said Rob Kampia, executive director of the MPP.

"By citing instead of arresting marijuana users, Texas will now be safer."

The MPP reported marijuana possession arrests make up between 6 and 7 percent of all Texas arrests. The group also reported that each of Texas' five largest cities could save more than $1 million per year by taking advantage of the law. The law also covers other misdemeanor offenses, such as graffiti, criminal mischief of damage worth less than $500 and driving with an invalid license.

Painter said the fact that drug possession could be treated like a speeding ticket is a major problem.

"They're trying to make it to where (a marijuana violation) is as socially acceptable as getting a speeding ticket; I'm sorry but that ain't it. That is not the message that needs to be sent out to the people," Painter said.

Robinson also said writing a citation for marijuana possession is not enough of a punishment.

"To me, 4 ounces is quite a bit of marijuana. Someone is going to go to jail for that much. Any amount is too much. I think the summons is good on certain offenses, but not this one," he said.

"I think state legislators felt that (the new bill) would be a tool to help alleviate jail overcrowding, but I think they should have just left that one off the books. I don't know why they had to include it."

Midland County District Attorney Teresa Clingman said she can see how a ride to jail for a first-time offender could be a rude awakening for them.

"I personally think that by being taken to jail, someone who hasn't smoked marijuana very long might be steered in another direction and given a reality check," Clingman said.

"If you have a younger person who's never been to jail before and they are taken to jail, that just might wake them up. But if you just issue them a ticket, it may not put an impression on them; it'd be like getting a ticket for not putting on a turn signal.

"Just getting a ticket would be like just getting a speed ticket. And I certainly don't put smoking marijuana in the same category as jaywalking or speeding or running a stop sign," she explained.

FYI

Class A misdemeanor: Up to one year in county jail and/or $4,000 fine
Class B misdemeanor: Up to six months in jail and/or $2,000 fine.

Note: On top of the fine is court costs that can vary from $150 to $500. Only one charge in the state of Texas requires a 10-day notice of citation -- a Texas resident with a valid Texas license and registration is cited for speeding. For any other offense, they can go to jail.
Source: Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter



News Hawk- User http://www.420Magazine.com
Source: MyWestTexas.com
Author: Lynsey Bradley
Contact: Midland Reporter
Copyright: Midland Reporter-Telegram
Website: Local law enforcement not going to write citations for certain marijuana offenses
 

Cherma

New Member
Since Midland Texas is in Bush country and that Midland is a wayward spot for tons of Marijuana and other drugs being staged for distribution after coming across the border as well as Odessa. I wonder who the police guy is actually protecting? Midland is a good ol boy area, and they do not abide by any Texas law except their own. A man was shot down in Midland in Self Defense in 1994 after trying to rob a another man, at his home, The Midland police considered this a FAVOR as I was told, since this man who was shot had been one of their arch nemesis for over 20 years.
But the marijuana issue is bafflling. There is so much marijuana in Midland Texas that come in from Mexico that thru a Taxation system and the new policy that Texas passed in June, I wonder if the Police Chief understands the principles of economics here.
Midland can become one of the richest counties now since the oil boom is GONE in that they now can tax the loads coming into and thru Midland, instead of taking the payoffs that was so customary in giving to the Law Enforcement teams years ago to provide safe and resonable access to pass thru and stage multiple drop off areas, and holding areas for tons of marijuana. What a bunch of fucking hypocracy that the Midland Police Chief is spouting off. I believe that he will soon end up like the almost former Senator Larry Craig, in his resignation, after the fact be made known that by accepeting " pass thru" gratuity will catch up to him. He can not tap his foot to the right and play with the law and then not enforce it, than be excepting his pass thru gratuity.
Thru true taxation and regulation of the marijuana industry and not just paying pass thru gratuity taxes in MIDLAND, the balance of any budget sheet will be in favor of the people of Midland and not just the Police Chief and his cronies.
 

tcccfriends

New Member
Even things that start slowly eventually pick up speed. The fact they are talking about this at all in Texas is a good sign. Keep a positiveoutlook. The ones that need to be educated the most have just identified themselves.
 

Herb Fellow

New Member
The ones that need to be educated the most have just identified themselves.
Really bad when they think it is safer to take someone off the road and to jail that is transporting marijuana, than the one that is flying down the road at an unsafe speed. I think it all boils down to money. While the state would definitely bring in more revenue, it doesn't necessarily mean that law enforcement would receive a portion to match what they are receiving from confiscating people's property and other fines and fees.:hmmmm:
 

zolar

New Member
seems like a clear conflict of interest as long as we can steal your stuff through forfeiture laws even without a conviction and we get to use it and keep it we don't want to change
 

420AM&PM

New Member
"I believe if you have any amount of marijuana, you should be placed in jail," Painter added.

Thats pretty crazy.
 

Frog

New Member
Even things that start slowly eventually pick up speed. The fact they are talking about this at all in Texas is a good sign. Keep a positiveoutlook. The ones that need to be educated the most have just identified themselves.
It's way overdue since they were the first
or one of the first to put prohibition on It.

Ever here of Full Circle?

Everthing comes full circle :3: Eventually :3:


More money for everybody as long as it's illegal,
legalize it and the price drops.
Unless the Goverment props it up
with high taxes for Producers and Distributers/Importers.
 
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