Act Now: End Arrests for Pot Possession
Texas arrests more than 60,000 Texans a year for smoking pot, and each arrest takes officers off the street for hours, leaving patrols understaffed and police chiefs begging taxpayers for money to hire more people. Once in jail, these defendants run up a bill on county taxpayers tab, all paid for with local property taxes. And if the case goes to court and the defendant has no money, taxpayers could even end up paying for their lawyer!
The Texas House will soon consider HB 81 reducing penalties for low-level marijuana possession from a Class B misdemeanor to a civil penalty carrying a $250 fine. And we've created a fun video to help promote this excellent bill. Take action and you can watch it on the thank you page the comes up after you send your letter!
If law enforcement officers in Texas just issued civil citaions for low-level pot possession instead of arresting people, it would save counties millions of dollars in jail and court costs, reduce local incarceration rates, and allow chiefs to focus public-safety resources on more serious crimes.
Taxpayers pay millions per year to jail people who are quickly (in most counties) fined, freed and probably continue to smoke pot. What exactly is the point? This is government at its worst -- both ineffective and inefficient.
Opponents of reform are already lining up their votes. But we are ready to make big changes in how we deploy public safety resources -- IF we act now and push hard. Learn more about this issue!