AUSTIN, Texas - The City of Austin is changing the way the Austin Police Department will handle marijuana-related possession offenses.
Officers will no longer arrest or ticket anyone for small amounts of marijuana. The only exceptions are if there's an immediate threat to someone's safety or it's part of an investigation into a high-priority felony-level narcotics case or a violent felony.
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The move comes after state lawmakers passed a bill that legalized the production, manufacture, and sale of hemp. Confusion over the new law led to problems for prosecutors to distinguish between legal hemp and illegal marijuana.
Earlier this year, DPS said its labs would no longer accept misdemeanor marijuana cases for analysis.
That's when APD stopped developing testing. It's not working on contracts with vendors to conduct testing based on higher-level cases.