Austin Officials Certify Local Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative For May Ballot

MJ moment

Austin, Texas voters will have a chance decide on a ballot initiative to locally decriminalize marijuana, city officials announced on Monday. Ground Game Texas, an organization working to advance progressive causes including cannabis reform, said it turned in more than 33,000 signatures for the measure—about 10,000 more than required to qualify for the May 7 election. The city clerk’s office said that, according to its internal review of the validity of the submissions, “the petition is determined to be sufficient.” The group also told Marijuana Moment on Monday that they will be launching signature campaigns for cannabis decriminalization initiatives in Killeen and Harker Heights this month, and activists in San Marcos began a similar campaign in September. Those three efforts are aimed at putting marijuana reform before voters in November. While Austin, as well as other Texas cities like Dallas, have already independently enacted law enforcement policy changes aimed at reducing arrests for cannabis-related offenses by issuing citations and summons, the new Austin Freedom Act would take the reform a step further. The initiative seeks to end arrests and citations for misdemeanor marijuana possession within Texas’s capital city. Also, it says police cannot issue citations for residue or paraphernalia in lieu of a possession charge. Under the initiative, the execution of no-knock warrants would also be prohibited in the city—a policy that generated significant national attention in 2020 after it led to Kentucky officers entering Breonna Taylor’s apartment and fatally shooting her in a botched drug raid. “We’re so proud of the tremendous work of our organizers and volunteers who secured more than 30,000 signatures to put progressive change on the ballot in Austin,” Mike Siegel, political director of Ground Game Texas, said in a press release. “With the certification of the Austin Freedom Act, voters in Austin will soon have…

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Source : Austin Officials Certify Local Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative For May Ballot

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