EP City Council Considers Cite and Release Policy for Marijuana
Coming up today, the El Paso City Council will be discussing how to handle people who are cited for marijuana possession.
One part of that discussion is going to be a 'Cite and Release' policy. Right now the city has a 'First Chance' policy. This policy allows first time offenders to keep their record clean by paying a fine of $100 and doing 8 hours of community service.
The new 'Cite and Release' proposition would allow to, well, be cited and then released. Pretty simple, right? There would be a citation issued if you're found holding though, remember that.
El Paso County Court Judge Ruben Morales said:
The person is not being immediately arrested and that of course if very beneficial to the police department because they are not losing hours waiting to book someone or process someone.
First chance program is for the people who have never been in trouble, who have clean records and are trying to help them keep those clean records. Cite and release is for the people that don’t qualify.
This isn't a slam dunk though if you're hoping the city passes this new proposition. There are some who like the 'First Chance' policy that's in place and believe the city should continue to ride with that one. District Attorney Jaime Esparza said:
We will still hold you accountable. Judge Morales is incorrect, if you do not take advantage of the 'first chance' program we will get a warrant and go pick you up and make you accountable for the marijuana case.
Oh how I long for the day when these conversations are a thing of the past and it's just legalized.