How San Marcos Went From ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policing to Requiring That Officers Release Low-Level Offenders

How San Marcos Went From ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policing to Requiring That Officers Release Low-Level Offenders

san marcos cite and release protestorsIn the early nineties, at the peak of the war on drugs, San Marcos was a hotbed for marijuana activism. The city made national headlines when seven advocates for decriminalization were arrested for smoking weed outside the county jail in an act of civil disobedience. “They are just old hippies going through a change of life,” Paul Hastings, then Hays County sheriff, told the New York Times in 1991. “They’re still looking for a cause.” The protests didn’t persuade local law enforcement leaders to ease their “zero-tolerance” policies that aimed to incarcerate people on low-level drug charges. In 1999, a Hays County narcotics task force raided the home of 25-year old Rusty Windle, an electrician’s apprentice, suspecting he was a low-level marijuana dealer. He wasn’t,…View Original Post

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Source: Texas Monthly

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