Austin Voters Approve Measure to Decriminalize Pot

Austin Voters Approve Measure to Decriminalize Pot
High Times

Voters in Austin, Texas over the weekend approved a ballot proposition that decriminalized cannabis and prohibited the practice of “no-knock warrants” by police.  A little more than 85% of voters on Saturday approved Proposition A, according to local television station KXAN, which said that the measure will “formalize a city policy put in place in 2020, when then-police chief Brian Manley announced his officers would no longer cite or arrest those accused of misdemeanor pot offenses.” That change in policy came as a result of a unanimous vote by the Austin City Council at the time, KXAN reported.  Per local TV station KVUE, the measure does not legalize cannabis in Austin, but “ultimately forbids police officers from ticketing and arresting people on low-level marijuana offenses, like possession of small amounts of weed or related paraphernalia, unless tied to a more severe crime.” Additionally, the city “would also not pay to test substances suspected to be marijuana, which is an important step in substantiating drug charges,” according to the station.  Under the newly passed ordinance, cops in Austin “will not be allowed to issue citations for most Class A or Class B misdemeanor possession offenses,” according to KVUE. “In Texas, a Class A misdemeanor is possession of 4 ounces or less but more than 2 ounces. A Class B misdemeanor is possession of 2 ounces or less,” according to the station, which said the ordinance takes effect immediately.  The ordinance, as written, says that Austin police officers will only be permitted to issue citations or make arrests for such Class A or B misdemeanors if it is part of “the investigation of a felony level narcotics case that has been designated as a high priority investigation by an Austin police commander, assistant chief of police, or chief of police,” or if…

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