San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

May 1st, 2009
Sheriff’s office begins cite-and-release for marijuana, other minor crimes


Starting today, Hays County law enforcement officers will have the ability to reduce the number of times violators are booked into the Hays County jail for minor crimes by issuing field release citations.

Officers will now have the option of issuing field release citations for Class B misdemeanors including marijuana possession, graffiti, theft of service, driving with an invalid license, criminal mischief and theft/contraband in a correctional facility.

“This new procedure will aid in the overcrowding situation now occurring at the Hays County jail but arresting officers will use their own discretion in whether to use a citation or to make an arrest,” sheriff Tommy Ratliff said.

Violators must have proof of identification, must be at least 17 years of age and must be a resident of Hays County to be considered for a field release citation. Once cited, violators must appear at the Justice of the Peace Pct. 1 courtroom on the first or third Wednesday of each month for magistration and processing. The date of appearance will be noted on the violators copy of the citation and may not be any earlier than 10 days from the citation’s issue date.


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3 thoughts on “Sheriff’s office begins cite-and-release for marijuana, other minor crimes

  1. This is a step in the right direction.

    Prison over population is a policy created nightmare. US Senator (VA) Webb’s S.714 is a bill to establish the National Criminal Justice Commission. A regulated drug market is on the table as a possible solution. It now has 24 Cosponsors. It has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

    The government is best left out of our personal moral dilemmas. They are needed to protect us from fraud and violence. At present they are too busy trying to be our moral police instead of our safety police.

    Murderers and other violent predators roam free, while we police nonviolent adult social, medicinal and religious drug use. Limited resources can be better-spent catching pedophiles, rapists and killers. More time could go toward stopping DUI and those selling drugs to minors.

    We need to fight drug abuse with compassion; treat nonviolent abusers as patients not criminals. Fight use with factual evidence! We are diminishing the use of tobacco with the campaign, Knowledge is Contagious, so Infect Truth! Educate people and they will make better choices for themselves.

    True education is our most important duty; the way out of ignorance and repression. Do not doubt history will mark this time as a new beginning for a period of enlightenment and abundance. Marijuana is safer than alcohol, which is eight times more likely to cause violence, over indulgence can cause death and other dangers to users’ health. Patients swear cannabis is an effective, safer replacement for dangerous, expensive pharmaceuticals.

  2. saying officers now have the option is misleading, the entire state has had this option since last september i believe. the reason we have wasted taxpayers money over this period is simple, political fear of being soft on drugs and pandering to fundamentlist voters. i cannot call them conservative voters, because truly conservative voters know the futility of criminalizing consensual activities in a free society.

  3. So if you’re 16 and younger they put you jail? What a wonderful thing to do! Lock up all the youngin’s that’ll teach them.

    Not. Talk about bull.

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