Houston, Texas – October 15, 2015 – Houston mayoral candidate Chris Bell will be a special guest speaker at the October monthly meeting for Houston NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) Thursday.
Bell is a lawyer, a former U.S. Congressman and former Houston City Council Member. He will be making a campaign stop to visit with the members of Houston NORML and share his intentions on how to better handle local marijuana policy if elected Mayor of Houston in the November 3 municipal election.
Out of all candidates running for Mayor of Houston, Bell’s campaign website is the only one that specifically mentions marijuana policy. From Chris Bell’s campaign website:
“There is still a legitimate debate to be had over whether marijuana decriminalization or full legalization is the best approach to solving the problem. But there are steps we can take under current law to make our system more effective and more fair.’
“(The Houston Police Department) has – under current law – the ability to issue a citation in lieu of arrest and incarceration for simple possession. I will direct the Chief of Police to utilize this policy rather than arrest. This will save millions of dollars and thousands of hours in enforcement and jailing costs.”
“It’s great to hear such a common-sense position from someone running for Mayor of Houston,” said Jason Miller, executive director of Houston NORML. “Under current Texas Law, those accused of misdemeanor marijuana possession can be issued a citation and sent on their way.”
Statistics from the Texas Department of Public Safety show that between October 2014 and July 2015, HPD arrested 1,912 people for marijuana possession.
“Unfortunately, our local elected officials have failed to take advantage of the ‘cite and release’ law and have instead chosen to continue arresting people and, in the vast majority of cases, to continue imprisoning them as well,” Miller said. “We’re very much looking forward to hearing from Chris Bell and learning more about his plans to improve local marijuana policy.” The meeting will take place tonight (Thursday, October 15) at 7:30 p.m. at Midtown Bar & Grill (415 W. Gray).
Houston NORML’s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently through open and honest conversation to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to educate and inform the public about the benefits of cannabis and the dangers of prohibition.