Funds for cannabis testing still on El Paso budget


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Budget season is almost over and a request for $ 72,000 from the El Paso Police Department for cannabis testing remains on the table for spending next year.

El Paso city council is due to hold a public hearing on the tax rate on Tuesday morning, which can be viewed at 9 a.m. on the city’s YouTube channel. Citizens can still register to share their thoughts and comments on the 2022 budget on the City’s website.

El Pasoans will be able to comment on various aspects of the 2022 budget, including the tax rate passed, spending and other aspects of next year’s finances. Residents will also be able to comment on the controversial police proposal.

Earlier this year, EPPD presented a proposal for $ 72,000 in additional funding to cover the costs of THC testing. Police officials said the request followed a letter from the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office demanding testing to prosecute all marijuana cases.

“The reason they’re doing this is because it doesn’t fund them to test amounts of crime marijuana, right now the state only funds to test amounts of crime flowers. They can’t even test the concentrates right now, ”said Colt DeMorris, executive director of El Paso NORML, a local chapter of the National Marijuana Law Reform Organization, which advocates for law reform. on marijuana.

Although most major cities and counties in Texas have adopted more lenient practices in low-marijuana cases, El Paso has maintained a harsher approach, despite city council adopting a “quote and free ”for marijuana possession misdemeanor levels.

Statewide, prosecutors have dismissed low-intensity marijuana cases or stayed criminal charges due to changes in hemp laws and lack of testing resources.

Two city council officials opposed the police department’s proposal, saying it was in stark contrast to the “citation and release” policy, in which residents are sentenced for the offense of possession. small amounts of marijuana and are kept out of jail.

An initial examination of the practice showed that most of the cases concerned adolescents and young adults.

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