Marijuana Decriminalization

marijuana decriminalization
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21 states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana. This generally means certain small, personal-consumption amounts are a civil or local infraction, not a state crime (or are a lowest misdemeanor with no possibility of jail time).

Decriminalization states are Alaska (also now with legal provisions), California, Colorado (also now with legal provisions), Connecticut, Delaware (enacted in 2015), Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington (also now with legal provisions), and the District of Columbia (also now with legal provisions).

6 states — Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio (and Oregon before legalization)—have it as a low-level misdemeanor, with no possibility of jail for qualifying offenses. The other states with decriminalization policy have specified small amounts of marijuana as a civil infraction, or the like.


  • Texas could classify marijuana as a misdemeanor with no possibility of jail similar to 10 other states (MD, DC, RI, ME, MA, CT, MN, CO, CA, OH)
  • Cities and states could impose an age limit for the possession of marijuana, such as 18 or 21.
  • 19 states allow citations to be issued after arrest, nine authorize prior to arrest, and 10 states allow both.

Texas Constitution
Code – Code of Criminal Procedure
Chapter – 14 Arrest without Warrant
Section – 14.06 Must Take Offender Before Magistrate


NPR – Governor Shumlin Offers Pardon To Thousands With Low Level Marijuana Convictions

Philly Magazine – Philadelphia Mayor Signs Decriminalization Bill

Philly Magazine – Governor Wolf Wants to Decriminalize Small Amounts of Marijuana in Pennsylvania

AZ Central – Phoenix prepares for legalization of recreational marijuana

Texas Observer – Will Texas Turn Green? Pot Panelists Say the State Is Ready

Texas Monthly – Could Texas Decriminalize Pot in 2015?

Delaware decriminalized marijuana this week: Here are the states that may be next

Dallas officials to consider new marijuana law enforcement

Orlando City Council adopts use of civil citations for marijuana, but with some changes

Another Michigan City Decriminalizes Marijuana

City of East Lansing Marijuana Decriminalization Proposal (May 2015)

Houston Chronicle – Texas panel votes to decriminalize small amount of pot

Harris County DA Announces New Program for Class B Marijuana Possession Arrests

Harris County DA candidates wrangle over who should take credit for the plan

Colorado Marijuana Tax Revenue Nearly Doubles in One Year

Harris County DA candidate calls for no arrest for marijuana

NCSL – State Medical Marijuana Laws

New Orleans City Council Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance

Clarkston Could Be First Georgia City To Decriminalize Marijuana

Austin City Council supports use of medical marijuana

Business Journal – Another Florida county government may decriminalize marijuana

Volusia County’s marijuana decriminalization law begins

Think Progress – Ted Cruz Will Let Coloradans Smoke Their Legal Weed In Peace

Think Progress – Irish Government To Decriminalize Heroin, Cocaine, And Marijuana

Slate – Which States Have Decriminalized Marijuana Possession?

Salon – The 9 states where marijuana will be legalized last

Huffington Post – Pittsburgh Just Voted To Decriminalize Weed

Daytona Beach leaders vote to decriminalize marijuana

Israeli Justice Minister Mulls Decriminalization of Marijuana

Placentia city council approves growing, selling medical marijuana

Bethel City Council Introduces Marijuana Regulations

Time – Illinois Is the Latest State to Decriminalize Small Amounts of Marijuana

The Daily Texan – Cite and release policy in Austin to soon be enacted in other Texas counties

Overlooked Texas bill allows police to cite and release for pot possession, will counties take advantage to ease jail costs?

Texas Observer – Dallas Cite-and-Release Policy for Weed Back From the Dead

Free Press – Mayoral candidate Chris Bell talks to FPTV about Cite and Release in Houston

Free Press – Harris County Cops Will Jail You for Small Crimes Because of a Software Problem, Says DA

Free Press – Under State Law, Local Cops Don’t Have to Jail You for Pot

Houston Free Press – Marijuana Decriminalization is Possible in Texas

KUT – In Austin, 1 in 4 Pot Busts Doesn’t Lead to Arrest

Statesman – Williamson County takes steps toward cite-and-release program

Statesman – Larger number of marijuana offenses dismissed in Texas

The Tennessean – Not whether, but when: It’s time to decriminalize marijuana

Tennessean – Nashville marijuana decriminalization effort advances in Metro Council

Alternet – How Decriminalizing Marijuana Saved Philadelphia $9 Million

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