Day one of Harris County's new marijuana policy

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Friday, March 3, 2017
Harris County's new marijuana policy in effect
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Harris County spends approximately $26 million each year prosecuting 10,000 misdemeanor marijuana cases.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Harris County has a new pot policy where you can take a class instead of going to jail.

Wednesday was the first day the new Marijuana Diversion program went into effect.

At least nine people were caught with less than four ounces and they agreed, to take the program.

"That more than met our expectations," said First Assistant District Attorney David Mitcham.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about Harris Co.'s new pot policy

The Harris County District Attorney's office said there were a few wrinkles on day one, but it was something they expected.

"Some of the officers involved in some of the incidents were unfamiliar with the process and had to be advised what procedures to go through," he said.

The basics of the program is a person has to be found with four ounces or less.

If the person has a clean record and wasn't caught near a school, they can qualify to complete a four hour "Cognitive Decision Making" class within 90 days.

Once they do, their record stays clean and the evidence is destroyed.

"They can get on with their life without a criminal conviction meanwhile the police can get on with their job to round up burglars and robbers," Mitcham said.