We’re all safer now: Austin teacher busted for .033 oz of pot

Reports Austin’s KXAN-TV:

An Austin high school geography teacher has been arrested and charged with having marijuana and paraphernalia at his home, which is located within 1,000 feet of an elementary school.

Police had a search warrant for Ian Kristofer Grayson’s single-family residence in the 6000 block of Leisure Run Road, located near Odom Elementary School.

Grayson, 34, has been a teacher at Austin High School since 2009, and from 2006 to 2009 he taught world history at International High School.

During the search, officers found .033 ounces of marijuana in two different glass containers and also in a trash container, which was empty except for the bag of pot and drug paraphernalia, according to Austin Police Department. Marijuana pipes, residue and other paraphernalia were found in various locations inside the home, including his bedroom, according to the arrest affidavit.

Since when does Austin PD seek search warrants for pot smokers? They’d have time to do nothing else if that were a common practice. It’s worth mentioning they found less than a gram of pot, combined, scattered across three different locations in the house. Not exactly a kingpin, this fellow. Was this worth ruining the guy’s life over – making him lose his job, trouncing him in the media? Who, if anyone, benefits?

One doubts Grayson’s students would say they’re better off for his arrest. One former student commented on the KXAN site, “I remember Ian Grayson from when I went to Austin High because he gave me a hug on my last day there.” Another student declared, “Gotta love how they fire the best history teacher at our school because of something so stupid as possession. I guess an illegal plant takes more priority over a good education.”

Whaddya think? Should police be executing search warrants in private homes for petty pot violations? Was AISD right to put the fellow on administrative leave or should he be reinstated?

Voters and the press should demand all Austin mayoral and city council candidates address this question as we approach city elections in May. Notably, in recent years Austin PD has placed increasingly greater emphasis on marijuana enforcement, with the number of new pot cases increasing 69% from 2007 to 2010. One wonders, for what purpose? Does that really reflect the priorities City Council expects APD to be focused on?