Harris County limits marijuana enforcement, Houston Rodeo guide: 5 things Humble, Kingwood and Atascocita residents need to know this week, Feb. 20-27

Beginning March 1, Harris County will no longer arrest individuals in possession of less than four ounces of marijuana.

Beginning March 1, Harris County will no longer arrest individuals in possession of less than four ounces of marijuana.

Harris County changes marijuana laws

A new program will go into effect March 1 for misdemeanor marijuana possession cases, according to a press release issued by Harris County District Attorney’s office last week.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg—with support from the Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo—announced the plan Feb. 16 in a press conference. Every law enforcement agency in the county will be participating in the countywide program, the press release stated.

Under the new program, there will be no arrest, citation, charge, jail or record for those caught possessing up to four ounces of marijuana, Harris County officials said. If less than four ounces of marijuana is found on a person, the person will have to take a four-hour educational class within 90 days. Once the class is done, no charge is ever filed.

Property tax relief in Montgomery County

Montgomery County residents following a unanimous vote by Commissioners Court last week to approve a 10 percent general homestead exemption. A 10 percent optional homestead exemption will result in a potential annual savings of $125.40 for the average home valued at $268,685 in Montgomery County, Tax Assessor-Collector Tammy McRae said.

Because of the 10 percent exemption, the loss in revenue for the county would be about $13 million, she said. However, Montgomery County expects to generate approximately $12.8 million in additional revenue this year, although the final amount may change by this summer because of taxpayer protests and proposed state legislation.

Mardi Gras festival and parade

The event includes a parade, live music, arts, crafts, and food and beverage booths on Feb. 25. Noon-6 p.m. (full event), 2 p.m. (parade). Price TBA. Kingwood Town Center Park, 8 N. Main St., Kingwood. 281-883-4279. www.towncenterevents.com/mardigras

Hurdles for Astrodome plan

State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, introduced a bill last week that, if signed into law, would prevent Harris County from moving forward with a new Astrodome repurposing plan without voter approval.

Senate Bill 884, dubbed by Whitmire’s office as the Harris County Taxpayer Protection Act, would require Harris County to obtain voter approval for any improvement or redevelopment to the facility costing $10 million or more in county revenue.

“Simply stated, it will require the county, before they go forward and spend over $100 million on refurbishing the Dome, that they go back and get voter approval,” Whitmire said.

Community Impact Rodeo Guide

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is just around the corner. Here’s a guide to everything you need to know as you prepare your trek to NRG Stadium, including new food to try, concert and event times, information on parking and other helpful tips.