Getting caught with marijuana & no jail? - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Getting caught with marijuana & no jail?

Area residents caught in possession of marijuana could face punishment without jail.

If you're caught with small amounts of marijuana the punishment could change to where you pay hundreds of dollars less and don't have to go to jail. This is if House Bill 184 passes. It had a hearing in Austin Tuesday.

If passed, the bill would make it so those caught in possession of up to one ounce of marijuana would be charged with a Class C Misdemeanor instead of Class B, a fine of $500 instead of up to $2,000, and no jail time versus the current punishment which is up to 180 days in jail. 

Randall County Criminal District Attorney James Farren says, "The libertarian folks would tell us all drugs should be legalized. And it's up to every individual whether they want to ingest bad substances into their system and have it impact them... Whoever ingests these drugs and it has a detrimental impact on their health, you and I end up helping pay for it."

Mason Tvert, the Director of Communications for the Marijuana Policy Project says people shouldn't have to go to jail if caught with the drug. He says, "There is no justification for throwing adults in jail for possessing small amounts of a product that is objectively less harmful than alcohol." But Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas says, "Don't use that analogy that marijuana is less lethal than alcohol. It's all in the amount of it too."

Thomas says a lot of supporters think marijuana is the same from the 60s, but the THC is higher content now. He says, "The synthetic stuff is what's killing our people, and it's damaging them physically. And this is attached to that (bill). So I don't agree with what the bill is."

Supporters argue it would give law enforcement more time to focus on arresting criminals. Tvert says, "The proposed bill would allow law enforcement officials to focus their time and resources on violent crimes and other threats to public safety." Thomas says, "Jail wise itself, it would reduce our population of course. I'm not for it. I believe that the marijuana is a dangerous drug."

Farren says about 20% of the inmates in Randall County were caught with or selling marijuana. And Thomas says in Potter County there are about 20 people behind bars for possession of less than two ounces of the drug. He says, "If it's reduced down to a Class C (misdemeanor), we write them a ticket just like a traffic ticket. I just don't think that that's what it should be."

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share
  • Today's Local News HeadlinesToday's Local NewsMore>>

  • Clovis-Carver Library now has WWII Japanese American internment exhibit

    Clovis-Carver Library now has WWII Japanese American internment exhibit

    KFDAKFDA

    The Clovis-Carver Public Library now has an exhibit that shows the history of Japanese American Internment camps in New Mexico during World War II (WWII).  

    The Clovis-Carver Public Library now has an exhibit that shows the history of Japanese American Internment camps in New Mexico during World War II (WWII).  

  • Warford Activity Center renovations underway

    Warford Activity Center renovations underway

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 11:40 PM EDT2017-03-29 03:40:12 GMT
    Source: KFDASource: KFDA

    Amarillo's former North Branch YMCA is closer to opening as the Charles E. Warford Activities Center. Now that the facility is free of asbestos, construction and renovations are set to begin soon. First up is the indoor swimming pool. Tuesday evening the Amarillo City Council approved a $488,031 contract to renovate the pool at the center. "The pool was built in the 1960s, so we're dealing with a pool that had cast iron drain lines...

    Amarillo's former North Branch YMCA is closer to opening as the Charles E. Warford Activities Center. Now that the facility is free of asbestos, construction and renovations are set to begin soon. First up is the indoor swimming pool. Tuesday evening the Amarillo City Council approved a $488,031 contract to renovate the pool at the center. "The pool was built in the 1960s, so we're dealing with a pool that had cast iron drain lines...

  • United Way announces 2017 funding allocations

    United Way announces 2017 funding allocations

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 9:52 PM EDT2017-03-29 01:52:43 GMT
    Source: United Way of Amarillo & CanyonSource: United Way of Amarillo & Canyon

    United Way of Amarillo and Canyon announced the 26 programs that will benefit from the $1.6 million raised during the 2016 annual campaign.

    United Way of Amarillo and Canyon announced the 26 programs that will benefit from the $1.6 million raised during the 2016 annual campaign.

Powered by Frankly