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3 Texas senators support not jailing people for marijuana offenses in small amounts

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Recently the Democratic candidate for Harris County District Attorney held a press conference in Houston to unveil a program that she would implement if elected which would no longer put low level marijuana offenders in jail.

Kim Ogg’s G.R.A.C.E. program would instead put those caught with less than four ounces of cannabis through two days of community service. After completion, the charge would be erased from their record.

“This gives people an opportunity to repay their community for what is a small amount of drugs and then clean-up their record,” said Ogg.

Soon afterwards, three Texas senators wrote a letter to Ogg in support of her program, saying:

We would like to take this opportunity to express our support for your proposed alternative to incarceration. Diversion methods, such as this, are more effective at reducing crime, a more efficient use of resources; they avoid giving non-violent offenders a record, and aid in reducing the county jail population.

Harris County’s criminal justice system has primarily relied on incarceration as a way of dealing with mental illness and low-level drug users. As the largest county in Texas, Harris County should be at the forefront of implementing and perhaps creating programs that ensure a safe and secure community while efficiently using taxpayer dollars. This proposed program would be a step in the right direction.

Those senators include Rodney Ellis of Houston, Sylvia Garcia of Palito Blanco near Corpus Christi, and John Whitmire of Houston, all Democrats.

By: Stephen Carter

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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