Austin Police Department Will No Longer Prosecute Misdemeanor Cannabis Offenses
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Austin Police Department Will No Longer Prosecute Misdemeanor Cannabis Offenses

Arrests for minor cannabis possession offenses will only be made if there is an immediate safety threat or if it is part of a separate felony-level investigation.

July 6, 2020

Austin Chief of Police Brian Manley issued a memo July 2 indicating that the police department will no longer prosecute misdemeanor cannabis possession offenses unless there is an immediate safety threat or it is part of a separate felony-level investigation, as reported by KVUE.com.

“At some point the state of Texas needs to step up and do their part and legalize it so it can be properly taxed and regulated,” Greg Casar, an Austin councilmember, told the news outlet. “But for now, not having the police wasting their time on these personal marijuana cases … is the right policy and we’ve been fighting to achieve this for many years.”

Manley indicated in his memo that enforcing misdemeanor cannabis offenses has never been a priority for the department, and in January, Austin City Council passed a resolution barring city funds and personnel from being used to test cannabis to determine whether it meets the legal definition of hemp under state law, except in felony-level investigations, KVUE.com reported.