People may be interested to learn that a program that could eliminate jail time for some Dallas residents who are accused of marijuana possession was set to go into effect on Dec. 1. However, they should remain aware that marijuana is still illegal in both the City of Dallas and the entire state of Texas.
On Nov. 1, Texas authorities reported that 272 pounds of marijuana was found during a traffic stop in Hidalgo County. According to the criminal complaint, a state trooper conducted the stop at about 5:46 p.m., pulling over a white Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that had windows that were tinted more than the legally allowed 25 percent.
While the recreational use of marijuana remains illegal in Texas, a number of municipalities and counties in the Lone Star State have introduced measures that significantly reduce the penalties faced by those found to be in possession of small quantities of the drug. El Paso County's First Chance Program, which was unanimously approved by county commissioners on Oct. 30, is the latest such initiative, and it allows first-time offenders to avoid jail time and the consequences of having a criminal record.
On Oct. 13, news sources reported that six people were taken into custody in Texas in connection with grow house operations in two counties. During their investigation, agents reportedly seized 778 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of approximately $2.3 million. The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office characterized the grow operations as "sophisticated".
Authorities have charged a 13-year-old female student from McMath Middle School in Denton with the manufacture or delivery of under 400 grams of a penalty group 2 substance. Her arrest resulted after two other students reported feeling ill after eating small amounts of the marijuana cookies that she allegedly brought to school.
Authorities in a small Texas city say that a meth ring there is acting as a source for students to get the drug. Two people who were believed to have supplied the meth to a third person were taken into custody on Sept. 28. Authorities say that they gave meth to that person who then sold it to students in the area. The reactions to the drug ring and possible student drug use were mixed.
While it is not always publicized in Georgia, America's war on drugs has never ceased. The president and his attorney general are interested in putting a greater focus on curbing drug possession. However, there were 1.57 million arrests for drug law violations in 2016, a 5.63 percent increase over the previous year.
A 64-year-old Texas man was sentenced to three years in federal custody on Sept. 22 for transporting 230 pounds of marijuana from Oregon to Arizona in a private aircraft. Reports indicate that he was apprehended by authorities on March 30 after landing at Llano Municipal Airport. Agents from the Department of Homeland Security were assisted during the operation by officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety and deputies from the Llano County Sheriff's Office.
Texas law enforcement agencies took a 38-year-old man into custody on Sept. 8 after they received a tip that he was transporting cocaine between two cities. Authorities also said that this particular Austin resident had been on their radar for some time as the Austin Police Department had been receiving reports about a potential drug trafficking organization that was moving drugs between Houston and Austin.
The Texas Department of Public Safety and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration have had a busy summer arresting drug-trafficking suspects. Their latest round of raids on properties throughout San Antonio produced 15 arrests and seizures of heroin, methamphetamine, weapons and cash. A DEA spokesman said that the five-month investigation had so far resulted in the arrests of 40 people.