SMU Study of Marijuana-Related Arrests in Dallas County

Who got the ticket and who was arrested for a small amount of marijuana in Dallas County? A study published this month by Southern Methodist University Black people It is overrated among those who were quoted, arrested, prosecuted, or referred for prosecution in 2018.

Research saw misdemeanor Marijuana in the case of 6 Investigate the cities in the county and which incidents were introduced To the Dallas County District Prosecutor’s Office in 2018 to prosecute drug-related equipment and marijuana misdemeanors.

According to the report, marijuana use is about the same in the black and white populations.

“Instead we saw every level BThe shortages were overrated compared to the presence of the general public, “said Pam Metzger of SMU., The person who led the research.

For example, in the city of Dallas, blacks are 2.48 times more likely to be charged with class C misdemeanors and 5.54 times more likely to be referred for class A or B charges than non-blacks. Says.

Blacks make up 10% of the population Richardson It accounts for 45% of those who have been prosecuted or have drug-related equipment.

“These data highlight the urgent need for a new approach to low-level drug crime,” the study said.

The· Conducted by research, SMU’s Deathon Criminal Justice Reform Center, To seed Impact of Creuzot’s policy of refusing to prosecute most minor offenses of marijuana for the first time Possession in the county. Creuzot was elected in 2018.

“The numbers speak to community dissatisfaction, which means that people are being targeted by the police stations we know at least for the execution and arrest of low-level marijuana.” Cruzott insisted.

Blacks arrested for possessing two ounces of marijuana were overrated, according to a March survey released by the Dallas Regional Police Oversight Office.


Enforcement of the Minor Drug Law


According to the report, when enforcing a misdemeanor drug law, Dallas County police can issue a quote instead of arresting the person and putting him in jail. However, in 2018, Dallas County police rarely used this “quote and release” option for possession of misdemeanor marijuana, the report said.

The report looked at race imbalance In the cities of Dallas, Garland, Grande Prairie, Irving, Mesquite and Richardson.

“”The report concludes that blacks are significantly overrepresented among those accused of low-level drug crimes compared to their representatives in each city’s population. ” I am.

In March, Dallas Police Department Chief Eddie Garcia announced that he would not arrest anyone for possessing less than two ounces of marijuana unless there was a more serious breach.

Several larger police stations in North Texas have changed their policies to cite marijuana possession or give them less fees if they have less than a certain amount of marijuana.

Related: If I get caught in weeds in northern Texas, can I be put in jail?it depends

The department is changing the way low-level marijuana infections are handled due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, to free officers to focus on violent crimes, or to test elements by legalizing CBD. ..

The SMU survey looked only at 2018 data. This is because in 2019, Texas legislation was passed to legalize less than 0.3% of THC hemp. Psychotropic drug In marijuana.. The test should show if the THC of the substance is above 0.3% at the time of billing.

Police can also “disregard” the case as a tool crime, even if the evidence supports the alleged possession of marijuana.

Possession of drug-related equipment is a class C misdemeanor and will result in a fine. And it goes to Local government court..But iFaperson is charged with possession of marijuana, it’s Kulas■ A or B misdemeanor. It may appear in county court and go to jail.


Class A Minor (2-4 oz Marijuana):


  • County courts
  • Imprisonment for up to 1 year
  • Fine up to $ 4,000


Class B Minor (Less than 2 oz Marijuana):


  • County courts
  • Imprisonment for up to 180 days
  • Fine up to $ 2,000


Class C misdemeanor (possession of drug-related equipment)


  • District court
  • You will be punished only with a fine

Marijuana cases should be referred to the Dallas County District Law Firm. If the district attorney accepts a proceeding, the proceeding must be settled in one of the Dallas county courts.

Data show that blacks are overvalued by defendants accused of possessing class C drugs tool.

The WFAA sought comments from the police station nominated in the investigation, but said most people had not thoroughly reviewed the investigation and had no comments. However, Grande Prairie police criticized the study for misrepresenting the data.

The full statement of spokesman Mark Beseda is as follows:

“”Unfortunately, the Grand Prairie Police Department has not been asked for data from Dedman School and I am not familiar with the “statistics and story” research methods referenced. However, I noticed that the display of the data was inaccurate. Although a significant number of people who received Grande Prairie marijuana cases did not live in our city, the author compared all Grande Prairie marijuana cases with the demographics of Grande Prairie residents. did. When the author compares the cases of marijuana living in Grand Prairie with the demographics living in Grand Prairie, African Americans account for 23.6% of the cases of marijuana, almost exactly the population of 23% of African Americans. It turned out to match.

In addition, the authors emphasized their goal of determining the validity of Judge Cruzott’s policy on non-indictment of marijuana cases by comparing the demographics of the races arrested to explain this point. did. Unfortunately, the author did not control the defendants who incurred additional charges to more accurately determine their effectiveness. In our case, the majority of defendants had additional accusations, including avoidance of arrests in vehicles, illegal carrying of weapons, criminal mischief, and unresolved arrest warrants. In other words, many of these defendants were arrested regardless of the judge’s policy and further emphasized the proper use of police officers’ discretion.

I always accept sincere recommendations for improving my profession, but the solution starts with a factual representation of the data. This is important for the residents of Grande Prairie, the men and women who protect it, and for our entire community, regardless of city. “

In response to this statement, Crusott said: “It’s not that we’re stopping people from other cities. It’s important that they’re blocking people of color and enforcing traffic laws that don’t make them white.”

Narrowing racial disparities in marijuana charges was one of Cruzot’s top priorities. Researchers at Creuzot and SMU said throwing people into prison for small pots could have long-term consequences for some people’s lives.

“WThe hat we see, it traps many people in the cycle of poverty over and over again, where they are lagging behind in fines and fees. They can’t repay the ticket and lose their license, “Metsger said.

SMU will follow up on how the enforcement of drug-related equipment and marijuana ownership laws has changed during Creuzot’s first year in office.

Editor’s Note: Updated to clarify that John Cruezot was appointed District Attorney of Dallas County in 2019 after the period investigated for the investigation…


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