If Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia gets his way, his officers will no longer cite or arrest most people who are found to be in possession of fewer than two ounces of marijuana.
The department will make its proposal to the Dallas City Council Public Safety Committee on Tuesday.
Marijuana possession arrests made up 7% of all arrests by Dallas officers during the first three weeks of February, 183 of the 1,996 arrests through February 24, according to data that will be presented to council members. And 80% of those marijuana arrests, 140 of the 183, were for possession of fewer than two ounces.
Supporting details of the proposal to the city council state that the purpose of the initiative is to lessen the burden and the amount of time Dallas police officers spend when arresting and citing people deemed to be in possession of marijuana for personal use.
There are still several scenarios where someone with less than two ounces of marijuana would be charged with a crime, including:
- The possession is believed to be indicative of distribution, including the marijuana being packaged in several smaller baggies.
- The presence of digital scales or packs of empty baggies.
- If the person is observed in hand-to-hand distribution.
- If the offender is also in possession of a firearm.