One El Paso City Representative is against eliminating criminal charges for possession of marijuana.

City Rep Henry Rivera, a former EPPD officer, is opposing a new policy allowing those caught with under 4 ounces of pot ... the 1st time ... to pay a fine and do community service rather than face criminal charges.

El Paso County Commissioners Court approved the plan and it's also supported by District Attorney Jaime Esparza. According to the El Paso Times, Rivera said “Marijuana today is not what it used to be 10, 20 years ago.” “Now, it’s mixed with other chemicals.

He added that the program:

  • "decriminalizes marijuana to some extent.
  • “sends the message that if you get caught with marijuana for the first time nothing really happens to you.”.
  • "promotes the use of marijuana, which could lead to the use of other drugs.

Rivera has called for a public explanation of the program tomorrow during the City Council meeting at City Hall, 300 N. Campbell. It starts at 8am. If you can't make it, you can watch it here.