Weed Classes Now Shorter
County commissioners approve four-hour cite-and-release class
Travis County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a proposal to introduce a four-hour marijuana class to individuals cited for low-level possession, as part of its pretrial diversion programs. The county has offered eight-hour courses since fiscal year 2012, and will continue to, for "offenders who are higher-risk, who have higher charges pending, or who possess larger amounts of marijuana," explains the agenda request's language. But that class had been created prior to the cite-and-release standards the county adheres to now, and was mostly used to separate those cited for possession of marijuana from those cited for public intoxication. The four-hour class is expected to cost $45 per session (with a $10 rescheduling fee). County staff has recommended that Counseling and Education Services set three classes per month, beginning in January, with a maximum of 20 participants in each class. Staff anticipates the new classes adding $24,300 in revenue next year.
Individuals cited for low-level possession may be referred to the four-hour course through Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace Nicholas Chu, who will punt that individual's appearance date back 60 days so they can complete the course. They'll have their charge dismissed and be subject to no formal charges once they show Chu evidence that they've completed the four-hour course.