10 civil rights groups call on Travis County to drop pending marijuana cases

August 3, 2019
Austin-American Statesman

Ten civil rights groups are calling on Travis County to drop all pending marijuana possession cases in the wake of a decision from the district and county attorneys not to pursue most new cases on that charge.

District Attorney Margaret Moore announced that her office would dismiss 32 felony possession cases filed in the three weeks since June 10, when the Legislature passed a state law legalizing hemp. County Attorney David Escamilla said his office would dismiss 61 misdemeanor cases filed in the same period.

Just like other prosecutors across Texas, Moore and Escamilla have said they will not pursue most marijuana possession cases moving forward because the new law requires them to prove whether a suspected drug is hemp or marijuana, which means conducting a costly test of the substance’s THC content. However, Moore said it’s not her intention to stop prosecuting marijuana cases on a long-term basis. She has not said if or when her office would resume marijuana possession prosecutions.