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Houston DA Promises to End Jail Sentences for Misdemeanor Cannabis Possession

The incoming District Attorney for Harris County, Texas unveiled a progressive future for cannabis prosecutions during her inauguration ceremony yesterday.

In her statements at the ceremony, newly appointed District Attorney Kim Ogg remained loyal to the progressive ideas that had been proposed throughout her campaign, including a plan to stop making arrests and jailing people for misdemeanor cannabis crimes, CW39 reports.

Ogg was very explicit during the ceremony about her continued support for such reforms: “All misdemeanor possession of marijuana cases will be diverted around jail,” she said.

Under her administration, small-time cannabis enforcement are expected to see drastic changes. Instead of being arrested and facing jail time, nonviolent misdemeanor cannabis offenders will be ticketed and released on the spot.

“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 after the ceremony.

While Ogg’s exact views on cannabis aren’t as favorable as we might hope — Harris County will still be penalizing consumers who are caught, and felony cannabis crimes such as distribution are to remain in place — her other campaign promises included increasing transparency in cases of police shootings and ramped up efforts in the prosecution of burglars and white-collar criminals.

During the ceremony, Ogg also acknowledged that there had been turmoil within the DA’s office following her recent decision to fire 37 prosecutors.

“Welcome to a new era of criminal justice,” she said.

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