A majority of the Dallas City Council is blazing a trail trying to keep their city to stay lit.
Starting Oct. 1, getting caught with less than 4 ounces of marijuana in Dallas County won’t get you arrested.
Instead, you’ll get a citation and a court summons, which isn’t as lenient of Harris County’s new pot program, where possessors get the option to attend a decision-making class rather than receive a ticket or jail time; however, it’s a notable change from last year, when a similar ordinance was rejected by the same 10-5 count.
Dallas’ program is also different from Houston’s in that it was passed by a city council, unlike in Harris County, where District Attorney Kim Ogg acted in concert with HPD and Mayoral support to launch her initiative that took effect March 1.
The Dallas Police Department was also hesitant to endorse the Council’s decision, with the DPD’s Association president citing concerns with the approved threshold amount – equivalent of roughly 220 joints or about two sandwich bags.
Opposing Councilman Rickey Callahan voiced his own concerns in an interview following the vote: “I just don’t get why people have to be high all the time. Why don’t they simply go to school, get a job?”
It is unclear if Callahan believes there is no pot on college campuses, and he may be interested to know that smoking weed may take you all the way to the White House, as several Presidents have publicly admitted to partaking.
Passed largely for the same purpose as the marijuana program in Houston, supporters believe the Dallas initiative will save the county valuable resources, including manpower and money, and some residents are relieved by news of the measure.
“What we’ll see in the next several days, weeks and months is the opportunity for black, brown citizens of this state to be fairly treated,” Pastor Stephen Brown of Greater Bethlehem Baptist Church in Buckner Terrace said in an interview. “[People now have the] opportunity to have a second chance.”
Things have never been hazier in Texas, but Dallas’ stink may finally be a good one come fall.