Austin, Texas Voters Approve Local Marijuana Decriminalization Ballot Initiative

Austin, Texas Voters Approve Local Marijuana Decriminalization Ballot Initiative
MJ moment

Austin, Texas voters have approved a local ballot measure to decriminalize marijuana—a victory for activists who are also pursuing similar reforms in other cities in the Lone Star state. The measure, which was spearheaded by the progressive campaign Ground Game Texas, was ahead by an insurmountable lead of 84 percent to 16 percent on Saturday evening with early voting results reported by the three counties that Austin is part of. Besides decriminalizing cannabis, the measure also bans “no-knock” warrants by police. Activists turned in more than 33,000 signatures to qualify the measure, after which point the Austin City Council approved a resolution to put it on the ballot. On the same day that the initiative was certified, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said that he doesn’t believe people should be incarcerated over low-level marijuana possession. 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 ordinance goes a step further. The measure prevents 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. Ground Game Texas previously attempted to place the initiative on the November 2021 ballot, but they did not meet the signature turn-in deadline and shifted their attention to 2022. Texas marijuana reform activists aren’t exclusively focused on the state capital. For example, a campaign recently announced that it has collected enough signatures to place cannabis decriminalization on the November ballot in Denton. Ground Game Texas and other advocates are also actively working to put marijuana decriminalization on local ballots in Killeen, Harker Heights and San Marcos. There is no statewide, citizen-led initiative process that would enable advocates to put an issue like…

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Source : Austin, Texas Voters Approve Local Marijuana Decriminalization Ballot Initiative

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