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.
Two 19-year-old Texas men were taken into police custody after a search warrant was executed at an apartment on Feb. 8. Police reportedly obtained the search warrant for the College Station apartment while they were conducting an investigation into alleged marijuana sales. Both of the men were held at the Brazos County Detention Center before they were released on bond.
On Feb. 2, a 68-year-old man whose sentence was commuted by Barack Obama in 2015 was detained by police in San Antonio on a number of new drug-related charges. Obama in that year had commuted the sentences of many federal inmates who were serving sentences in connection with nonviolent drug crimes.
Lawmakers in Texas passed a medical marijuana bill in 2016, but the recreational use of the drug remains illegal in the state. States including California, Colorado and Washington have approved recreational marijuana use, presenting law enforcement agencies across the country with a serious challenge. While field sobriety, breath and blood tests are scientifically proven ways to detect alcohol impairment, there is currently no reliable method police can use to determine whether an individual is under the influence of marijuana.