As of March 1, 2017, Houstonians caught with small amounts of marijuana will no longer be going to jail, due to Harris County’s revised marijuana policy. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced the policy in February, which State Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston) has called a “real practical approach.”
Does this mean it’s now legal to smoke marijuana on Houston’s streets? Well, no. Here are some important things to know about the new decriminalization policy:
- The policy covers people in possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana.
- It does NOT cover:
- People caught with more than 4 ounces of marijuana.
- Individuals who are caught dealing marijuana or committing any other crime.
- Possession of any amount of marijuana in a designated drug-free zone (such as areas up to 1,000 feet from the perimeter of a school, playground, youth center or institution of higher learning).
- Anyone who is on bond or on probation.
- If you’re caught with up to 4 ounces of marijuana, you can avoid a trip to the police station and a mark on your criminal record if–and only if–you complete a drug education course.
- The course costs $150, but financial aid is available if you can’t afford it.
- You have 90 days to complete the course. If you fail to do so within this time frame, the county will pursue charges.
- You must complete the entire course.
Remember, the Law Office of Jim Medley is here to help. With 25 years of criminal justice experience, we have the knowledge and resources to aggressively defend you in court. Get your free case evaluation today to learn more.