HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Harris and Fort Bend counties Tuesday announced a sweeping alternate to misdemeanor marijuana cases.
In order to comply with a new Texas law, district attorneys in Harris and Fort Bend each stated they would no longer accept any misdemeanor marijuana ownership cases without laboratory checks displaying an illegal level of THC, the chemical that produces a high.
So far, Harris County has disregarded 26 misdemeanor marijuana cases since the law went into effect, refused at least an extra and is reviewing loads greater pending instances for possible dismissal.
David Mitcham, the first assistant within the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, told 13 Investigates, “As a be counted of essential equity, it’s no longer right to be prosecuting the cases that are pending with out a lab take a look at. It is in which the legislature in its knowledge and the Governor and his expertise has signed into regulation this additional element of proof.”
In Fort Bend County, the District Attorney is reviewing cases as nicely and refusing new ones until THC concentration exams are executed. Fort Bend DA Brian Middleton stated in a announcement Tuesday afternoon, “We are actively gaining knowledge of an answer and once we find one this is reliable and less costly, it is going to be enterprise as ordinary.”
Middleton adds that during Fort Bend, dismissed instances may be re-filed once trying out techniques are mounted.
House Bill 1325, allowing farmers to grow hemp as a crop, became signed into law by way of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott remaining month and became right now effective on June 10. The new definition of hemp changes the definition of marijuana, creating a THC restriction to tell the distinction between prison hemp and unlawful marijuana.
A THC concentration in the cannabis of less than 0.3 percent is hemp. If the THC concentration is extra than 0.3 percent, it is marijuana – and illegal to own.
To observe the law now, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office introduced it’ll now not receive crook fees for misdemeanor ownership of marijuana of quantities of four oz and beneath, without a lab take a look at result proving that the proof seized has a THC attention of greater than zero.Three percent. Felony cases may be reviewed on a case-with the aid of-case basis.
In Harris County, all cases under four oz. Are cited a software requiring a four-hour lifestyles choices class. If the elegance is finished, a case is never filed. Under the brand new rules, Houston Police say they’ll retain to present suspected marijuana possessors to a diversion software. It might not require a take a look at. Until labs can seize up, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said his branch would do not forget buying private testing on a case-with the aid of-case basis.
The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, then again, announced they’ll no longer be converting their handling of marijuana instances. An announcement Tuesday from Brett Ligon’s office indicates refusing instances is an “abdication of (DAs) duty to implement crook laws” and a “pretext to attain the policy purpose of finishing (marijuana) prosecution.”