(Denver Post file)

Third major Texas county reduces penalties for marijuana possession

People who receive a drug misdemeanor citation must complete a program before their case is dismissed

SAN ANTONIO — Authorities in Bexar County are seeking to divert misdemeanor offenders, including those found with marijuana, away from jail and instead receive a citation similar to a traffic ticket.

District Attorney Nico LaHood and other county officials held a news conference Wednesday to announce the new approach.

LaHood says people who receive a drug or other misdemeanor citation must complete a program before their case is dismissed.

The announcement comes after officials in Harris County and also in Dallas unveiled their own reform measures.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in February that law enforcement agencies will not arrest individuals caught with four ounces or less of marijuana.

Dallas police in April said they’ll issue misdemeanor citations and release people found with less than four ounces.