At Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg’s swearing in on January 2nd, she introduced some marijuana friendly views that come as good news for many in 2017. “All misdemeanor possession of marijuana cases will be diverted around jail,” Ogg said. While Ogg does not condone the use of marijuana or any other recreational drugs, she believes that private users of marijuana shouldn’t be imprisoned. She still plans to keep her campaign promise of making sure marijuana users don’t end up in prison next to murderers based on the speech given at her swearing in.
“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 [situation],” Ogg said. The more lenient application of the law would only affect misdemeanors and not people caught with large quantities. Houston rappers Paul Wall and Baby Bush were allegedly found in possession of almost 400 grams of marijuana. Paul Slayton, Wall’s legal name, is facing up to 99 years or life in prison if he is convicted of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, a first-degree felony because of the amount seized and intent to deliver allegations. Nine other co-defendants have been charged. Ogg is aware of the charges these men face and addressed it after her swearing in. “I’m going to look at our legislature to take another look at the drug laws and the penalties that are imposed under Texas law. As long as it’s the law, I’ll follow it. But our office is going to use the discretion that the legislature gave us to handle marijuana cases differently,” Ogg said. These were progressive views coming right after her recital of the oath of office at a very public inauguration. A few other Houston officials that share her ideals are the new Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and the Harris County Constable for Precinct 1, Alan Rosen.
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