Home / #Solutions / BREAKING: Houston Police Chief & DA Make Huge Stand Against Feds — Refuse to Jail Pot Users

BREAKING: Houston Police Chief & DA Make Huge Stand Against Feds — Refuse to Jail Pot Users

It’s a new year, and signs abound that cannabis decriminalization will continue rolling across the nation. Three more states legalized recreational use on the November ballot – bringing the total to seven – and four other states joined the long list of medical use states.

The big question is, will a Trump administration crack down on these states, considering federal government still lists cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug? The president-elect said he favors states’ rights, but his selection for Attorney General, Sen. Jeff Sessions, is among the worst drug war fanatics in the country. Sessions could do serious damage if he is let off the leash.

But Sessions is supremely out of touch with America and rationality itself. It’s now abundantly clear to the vast majority that locking people in a cage for using a plant that’s far less dangerous than alcohol – and has wondrous potential for medical use – is completely absurd.

State and local governments are realizing this too, even in the deep South.

Kim Ogg, the new Houston, Texas, District Attorney, affirmed a campaign promise during her inauguration ceremony on Monday. Local CW39 reports:

All misdemeanor possession of marijuana cases will be diverted around jail,” Ogg said during her comments from the podium…

“I’ve never felt good about putting marijuana users in the same jail cells as murderers. It’s just not fair, it doesn’t make any sense, and our country is resoundingly against that,” Ogg said briefly after her inauguration finished.

The announcement does not amount to decriminalization, as the law must be changed by legislators, but Ogg intends to use her discretion to the fullest.

“I’m going to look at our legislature to take another look at the drug laws and the penalties that are imposed under Texas law. As long as it’s the law, I’ll follow it. But our office is going to use the discretion that the legislature gave us to handle marijuana cases differently,” Ogg said when asked about the charges against the local celebrities.”

Two rappers, Paul Wall and Baby Bash, face felony charges after being arrested for cannabis and “byproducts” with intent to deliver.

READ MORE:  Wife of Murdered Cop Wakes Up to Prison System, Drug War and How it Led to her Husband's Death

CW39 notes that several bills have been filed in Austin to “relax Texas’ stance on weed,” but they have yet to be considered.

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Even outside of the famously liberal capitol city, authorities seem to be undergoing a sort of enlightenment. D.A. Kim Ogg has a friend in Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, who said the previous week he doesn’t see any benefit in going after pot users.

It’s part of a larger trend away from criminalizing cannabis and toward acceptance of its proven medical benefits. Avecedo made the comments during a radio interview with Dean Becker.

“I think you’ll have a really spirited but well-informed discussion, and at some point I could really foresee, in the future, marijuana and some other oils being legalized for medicinal purposes; it will probably be the first step in Texas,” Acevedo said during the program, which was pre-recorded in Houston.

We absolutely believe in (reform), that we want to push for it, but not just at the federal level, but at the state level as well.

Acevedo sees the drug war as a failure, and even hopes to implement a law enforcement program to give small-time drug dealers a second chance instead of putting them in cages with violent criminals.

The news from Houston comes on the heels of another major win for rationality in Arizona, where a Court of Appeals ruled that an arbitrary, unscientific blood-THC number is not sufficient grounds for criminalizing a cannabis user with a DUI charge.

Prohibition doesn’t work; there is not a single benefit except to the police state by enriching their coffers and filling jail cells. Together, the Houston D.A. and police chief can be a shining example for taking steps to end the failed, immoral War on Drugs.

  • Alan McLemore

    Sanity–and so close to home (I live in East Texas)!!

  • Marvin H

    No way they turn back the tide on legalized pot. Now that California has jumped in the game, the rest of the country will follow, and prohibition will finally be over.

    • Sylvia María Valls

      We should not ask for “legalization” however, since they have no right to prohibit… It is depenalization we must seek… otherwise, it’s like recognizing their right to prohibit which they certainly DO NOT HAVE… to my mind… !!

      • DeeperDish

        Legalization is the strongest reform and depenalization is the weakest reform. Depenalization reduces penalties, but it’s still illegal. Depenalization can be taking a felony and reducing it to a misdemeanor. Decriminalization goes the extra step of removing criminal penalties, but there are still civil penalties. With legalization, there are no penalties.

        We must push for legalization.

    • TeslaFan

      The new law in California includes an automatic felony for anyone under 21 caught with pot. Even though their records will be expunged when they turn 21, they will be arrested and enter the “justice” system. Most California voters don’t even realize this bill included this horrifying part. Makes me sick.

      • DeeperDish

        There is no felony.

        Proposition 64 only says, “11362.45. Nothing in section 11362.1 shall be construed or interpreted to amend, repeal, affect, restrict, or preempt: (c) Laws prohibiting a person younger than 21years of age from engaging in any of the actions or conduct otherwise permitted under Section 11362.1.”

        Possession under 21 was and still is a misdemeanor.

        • TeslaFan

          You’re wrong. “Individuals under age 18 convicted of marijuana use or possession are required to attend drug education or a counseling program and complete community service.” Those between 18 and 21 will be charged with a felony.

          • DeeperDish

            I actually read the law before I commented. Please quote the exact passage of a felony for under the age of 21. You won’t find it because you’re lying.

          • TeslaFan

            I want you to be right so I’m going to do further research. I sincerely hope I’m wrong this time and you are right.

          • DeeperDish

            Actually, possession under 21 isn’t even a misdemeanor anymore. It’s a civil infraction.

  • disqus_bFXHHP3bse

    Senator Jeff Sessions might be out of touch but no one has been in touch with legalizing pot before him either, otherwise it would be legal everywhere the US. I have never understood why a God given (or universe provided if you don’t believe in God) plant is illegal. And why do a few people get to decide for the rest of us what we can and can’t use?
    I also don’t understand why I have to get approval from someone else (a doctor) if I am in need of any kind of drugs (antibiotics, pain relievers, etc) but I guess that’s another argument for another day. As long as I’m using my money to pay for it, why does someone else care what I do? The abusers have made it hard on the rest of us.

  • Sylvia María Valls

    Great Lady! I would LOVE to see what we can all do together to bring to the attention of the Supreme Court that for any “authority” to penalize the use of psychotropic substances, given the history of human spiritual development and longstanding practices, is nothing less than interfering with our CONSTITUTIONALLY GUARANTEED RELIGIOUS FREEDOM! I certainly feel ready to explain to the Supreme Court why what I have just ascertained is DEFINITELY SO… !! See you around at http://www.institutosimoneweil.net and http://www.mama-doc.com So happy we have this Free Thought Project to help us think straight!!

  • Cousin Eddy

    Finally!! Someone w/a spine & balls who’ll stand up to the Gestapos & the Goebbles of this country. To the PIC, Law enforcement agencies, and big pharma, your days of getting rich on the backs of law abiding citizens are pretty much numbered. Ignorance only works to a point.

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  • alexandra

    trump is not about taking down cannabis…the vets doing well on it supported him. he has some of the real crazy drug dealers to look at.. big pharma for one..

  • FiuToYou

    Thank you for being intelligent!! Now if Trump stops all the drug wars it will be a perfect start to 2017.

    • Objectless

      Lol….. Trump wont make weed legal. Idiot.

      • Vincent D’Emidio

        Hmm…you call yourself, “Objectless”, so there is probably no “object” to your post.

  • Doktor Vok

    I would think it’s in Trump’s interest to keep the population doped up.

    • Geezer Grunt

      Try reeeeeeeeel hard and you might be able to access that small part of your brain? that contains some inkling of rationality.

    • Vincent D’Emidio

      “Doped up”?!!! Obviously, you never, EVER smoked a nice “bone” in your entire life, so you run your big mouth. YOU are the “dope”.

    • Blaine

      Just the Right Temp to Stoke
      Up a Doke—High to the Nth
      Degree!

  • This is how I see this playing out:

    The Drug Cartel (Big Pharma) will finally cave and allow cannabis to be sold. They will then bribe your politicians to make laws that only allow it to be grown and sold by them and anyone else that grows it will be thrown in prison for a decade or longer.

    • Vincent D’Emidio

      Pessimistic.

      • livefree1200cc

        Realistic

  • Jahar Saddles

    The “war on drugs” is in reality, not nearly as ‘immoral’ as it is STUPID.
    The best argument that can be made to the ‘conservatives’ who are the ‘law makers’ (actually in most cases equivalent to a ‘box of hammers’) in the cases of the ‘Drug War’; is best made ‘simply understood’ (don’t forget that you are communicating with ‘conservatives’ so keep it simple) by reflecting that Colorado has enjoyed more than 70 million in Tax revenues and a tremendous boost to their overall economy from the “tourist trade increase” since making Marijuana LEGAL and TAXING it .
    If the other states are so foolish as to “kiss” (or would that be piss) so much money away by SPENDING tax dollars to enforce/punish Marijuana possession instead of not only keeping all of that money they spend on the E/P of Marijuana——they GET MORE IN ADDITION.
    Even a “box of hammers” would agree with that logic; even as stupid as they are.
    Spending money to keep from making money is a “fool’s parade”.

  • TeslaFan

    Good for Houston for common sense and the courage to stand up for it!

  • Vincent D’Emidio

    Anti-Marijuana Assholes are just that — ASSHOLES!

  • Seth Tyrssen

    NORML of Statesboro and the Temple of Ankh’n’Abis/Church of the Sacred Herb stand solidly with her position. More officers of good conscious need to take this stand. And if the feds don’t like it — SECEDE.

  • MikeParent

    We’d all be better off if the police would focus on crimes with actual victims.
    Does anyone, other than those who pad their pockets from prohibition, honestly believe that wasting $20 Billion and arresting 3/4 Million Americans annually for choosing a substance proven to be safer than what the govt allows, is a sound policy?

  • Ed

    No victim = no crime. That includes traffic “violations”.

  • Dean Becker

    The times are indeed changing in Houston. Here are links to my interviews of our new DA, Sheriff, Police Chief and as a bonus one with Steve DeAngelo CEO of the worlds largest cannabis dispensary.

    DA Kim Ogg, 6/10/16 Kim Ogg, District Attorney candidate for Harris County (Houston TX) eviscerates the logic of the drug war + Okla report on cops draining credit cards on side of the highway http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/5860

    Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, 8/26/16 US Congressman Beto O’Rourke discusses need for veterans to gain access to medical cannabis + Ed Gonzalez, Democrat, retired police Sergeant running for Sheriff of Harris County/Houston http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/5959

    Police Chief Art Acevedo 12/30/16 Art Acevedo, Houston’s new Police Chief joins us for the full half hour to discuss forthcoming changes on Jan 1 to drug law enforcement in our nations 4th largest city http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/6123

    Steve DeAngelo, 01/06/17 Steven DeAngelo, CEO of Harborside Health Center, author of Cannabis Manifesto, Mike Hilliard, retired Baltimore Police Major + Adam Eidenger & effort to smoke out the Trump inauguration http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/6133

  • Candace Sturtevant

    Yup, that’s #WillieNelson state; better get it right before he dies, Texas.

  • In Austin, many of us miss Chief Art Acevedo. Ogg impresses me as an enlightened leader, who understands the implications of prosecuting citizens for possession. The costs outweigh value of the resultant outcomes.