Ruth Varghese
Mercury Staff

Dallas’ newly implemented cite-and-release policy on marijuana will not affect UTD.

At UTD, if someone is in possession of 3 grams or under of marijuana, UTDPD will issue a citation for paraphernalia with a notice to appear in court. Any amount over 3 grams results in an arrest, said Chief of Police Larry Zacharias.

The cite-and release policy in Dallas was implemented on Dec. 1, allowing Dallas police to issue a citation for marijuana and a court summons to anyone found with 4 ounces or less of marijuana, as opposed to arresting them. Possessing any amount over 4 ounces equals an arrest. The policy only affects the Dallas county section of the city of Dallas, according to the Dallas PD Beat website.

UTDPD does not follow the Dallas policy, as the campus falls under two counties, Collin and Dallas, and Collin County does not have a cite-and-release policy.


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Before the fall 2017 semester, UTD’s policy was to arrest anyone in possession of any amount of marijuana. UTDPD had never run into situation where it found someone with any less than a “usable amount,” until officers arrested a student in possession of very little pot during the fall 2017 semester, Zacharias said. Afterwards, UTD police discovered that the city of Richardson had a policy that if there were 3 grams of marijuana or less, the Richardson PD would issue a citation. UTDPD decided to adopt that policy.

UTDPD only decided to implement the new policy after the case with the student and the small amount of pot, and have not had a case since then where they needed to use their new policy.

If students are found with drugs on campus, they are referred to the Dean of Students office. If there is a violation of the Code of Conduct, the student can either have their case heard by an impartial panel or they can acknowledge the violation, and will receive punishments based on the violation.

The policy on all other illegal drugs remains a strict policy, meaning an arrest will be made.