Could marijuana legislation come to the Lone Star State?
Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales announced on May 16, 2019, that Bexar County’s D.A. office will not prosecute people who possess trace amounts of hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine under .25 grams from here on out.
Additionally, the DA’s office will no longer prosecute marijuana possession of less than an ounce. Bexar County encompasses major cities like San Antonio, which is its county seat.
Bexar County’s latest move is part of a bigger trend taking place across the Lone Star State. Dallas County D.A. John Creuzot announced in April that his office would not prosecute first-time marijuana offenders or individuals who possess trace amounts of drugs under .01 grams. In the same token, the Travis County D.A. declared a similar policy for possession of hard drugs under .01 grams.
Research from Reason discovered that petty drug possession makes up the bulk of narcotics-related incarcerations in Texas.
Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union conducted a study which found that 78 percent of people incarcerated for felony drug possession in the Lone Star State had under a gram of drugs on their person. Trivial activities such as drug possession have played a key role in America’s mass incarceration trend of the past few decades.
However, this disastrous Drug War might be slowly coming to an end. Since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, other states have followed suit with their own legalization, decriminalization, or non-enforcement schemes. With Texas, starting to catch on to this wave, the Drug War might be in the terminal stage.
Indeed, the fight for drug reform in the Lone Star State will be tough, but any kind of progress is welcome. Some of Texas’ largest counties are off to a good start.