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Austin police will no longer cite, arrest people for misdemeanor possession of marijuana offenses

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Posted at 5:21 PM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 18:21:31-04

AUSTIN, TX — The Austin Police Department will no longer cite or arrest people for misdemeanor possession of marijuana offenses.

The changes apply to Class A or Class B misdemeanor offenses, according to a memo issued by Chief Brian Manley.

However, Chief Manley said persons could still be arrested for the offenses if:

  • There is an immediate threat to a person's safety, or
  • Doing so as part of the investigation of a high priority, felony-level narcotics case or the investigation of a violent felony

The change in protocol comes after the Austin City Council passed a resolution on January 23, 2020, that City and City funds and personnel would not be used to develop or access THC concentration testing unless under certain circumstances, such as the investigation of a high priority felony level cannabis-related trafficking offense or violent felony charge.

The city council also directed the city manager to take the necessary steps to eliminate, to the furthest extent allowable under state law and as long as there is no immediate threat to a person's safety, the use of arrest or other enforcement action for cannabis-related possession offenses.

Full memo from Chief Manley: