UT Student Government votes against decriminalizing marijuana

UT Student Government votes against decriminalizing marijuana

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The UT Student Government was considering a proposal to allow UT police to choose to make marijuana possession of up to 4 grams a misdemeanor.

They voted down that proposal in a 13 to 9 vote Tuesday night.

Pro-pot students want to make a change to marijuana policies on the U.T. campus.

Some students want to change the rules so they won't be arrested for possession of a certain amount of marijuana.

If a student is caught with four ounces or less of marijuana it is at the officer's digression on whether to write a ticket or take the offender to jail.

The proposal would ask police to only write citations.

Supporters claim they want to save U.T. police resources so that they can focus on other security issues on campus. And because it is up to officer digression on whether a student is arrested for possession of less than four ounces supporters say minorities are more likely to face arrest. So they want everyone treated fairly.

But U.T. police say the student government can write any resolution they want but that doesn't mean U.T. police are required to follow along.

"The vote does not dictate how we enforce state law. State law is set up by the legislation and my suggestion is if state law needs to be changed then they need to go with the legislatures and get state law changed," said UTPD Chief Robert Dalstrom.

"We want to make sure that UTPD regardless of how many resources they receive can do their job most effectively and efficiently. By saving them the time, the hour it takes to arrest somebody for marijuana, we'd rather have them save those resources and devote those resources to keeping students safe," said UT Grad Student Robert Love.

The chief says they don't make very many arrests, but we'll still have to wait and see what message students send tonight with their vote.

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