A Texas county is rolling out a new policy to decriminalize low-level possession of marijuana. Harris County is where Houston is located, and the policy will allow those found to be in possession less than four ounces of marijuana to resolve their case by taking a four-hour drug education course. If these people complete the course, they will not receive a ticket or be taken into custody. Furthermore, they will not be required to appear in court.
The policy takes effect on March 1, and the rationale behind it is to reduce the number of cases that courts have to hear and the number of people housed in county jails. According to the district attorney in Harris County, $25 million was spent per year over the last 10 years putting people in jail for possessing four ounces or less of marijuana.