DALLAS– Five Texas communities had their municipal ballot measures approved by voters, ending local enforcement of minor cannabis infractions.
The propositions were approved by voters in the cities of Denton, Killeen, San Marcos, Elgin, and Harker Heights. The regulations specifically prohibit local law enforcement from issuing citations or making arrests for the majority of cannabis-related offenses.
Additionally, it forbids authorities from using the smell of cannabis as a basis for suspicion in the majority of cases.
“Texans have demonstrated their desire for significant cannabis law improvements in Texas through polling, legislative involvement, and now local elections!
The over 500,000 individuals who reside in these cities will benefit from this.
While these regional developments are crucial for reducing harm to citizens and reallocating law enforcement resources, they lead to a patchwork of regionally distinct cannabis enforcement laws.
When lawmakers meet in January 2023, it is time to take action to implement statewide reform, according to Jax James, executive director of Texas NORML.
In terms of cannabis-related arrests, Texas tops the US.
According to state law, having less than two ounces of cannabis in your possession is a criminal misdemeanor that can result in up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
A disproportionate number of African Americans get arrested.
A comparable municipal ballot initiative was handily passed by Austin voters in May.
In the upcoming year, local organizers plan to put ballot issues before voters in other communities.
Cities like Denton, Elgin, Harker Heights, Killeen, and San Marcos are home to more than 400,000 Texans.