Arresting and locking up marijuana users for marijuana possession is an enormous waste of tax payer dollars and law enforcement resources. Officers should be arresting real criminals, and jail beds should be reserved for those real criminals. Every minute that an officer spends harassing and arresting a marijuana user for possession is a minute that could have been spend arresting a pedophile or investigating an armed robbery.
Many states have decriminalized marijuana possession, which reduces the penalty for marijuana possession to a fine. Ideally, marijuana would be legal and carry no penalty, but under no circumstances should a marijuana user be arrested and labeled a criminal for simple possession. However, that’s the case in Dallas, Texas, where Police Chief David Brown is arresting every marijuana user he can find, and is proud of it. Per the Dallas Observer:
“Brown, though, told us he doesn’t intend to change Dallas PD’s approach to drug enforcement unless and until the Legislature makes him. “We believe strongly” that enforcing marijuana-possession laws through arrest is the best approach, he said.”
Texas does not have an initiative process that allows citizens to collect signatures to place marijuana reform on the ballot. That means the only option is for the Texas Legislature to reform its state’s marijuana laws. While there have been attempts at reform in the Texas Legislature, those attempts have failed. Dallas Police Chief David Brown is a disgrace. He is ruining lives with every arrest he makes. It’s time he changed his policies and followed the lead of other cities in Texas that are treating marijuana possession as an infraction, not an arrestable offense.