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San Marcos cite-and-release policy now in effect

The San Marcos City Council approved the policy in April.

SAN MARCOS, Texas — Starting Sunday, San Marcos Police Department officers will begin writing citations for certain petty crimes and low-level offenses instead of making arrests.

In April, the San Marcos City Council voted 4-3 to punish low-level offenses – such as possession of small amounts of marijuana – with citations instead of arrests. The City of San Marcos is the first in Texas to make cite-and-release a binding law and not simply a resolution.

RELATED: 

San Marcos becomes first city in Texas to pass cite-and-release policy

Issue a ticket or make an arrest? San Marcos city leaders to weigh proposed cite-and-release program

Prior to the council's vote in April, the Hays County-based grassroots organization Mano Amiga had advocated for the cite-and-release policy for about a year. The group worked to persuade officials "to end excessive arrests for non-violent crimes such as marijuana possession, petty theft, criminal mischief and driving while license invalid."

The group stated that minor marijuana possession has accounted for the leading arrest charge in San Marcos since 2013. Under the new policy, those found in possession of less than 4 oz. of marijuana will not be arrested "unless a disqualifying circumstance outlined in the policy applies."

WATCH: San Marcos considers cite-and-release plan

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