Advocates In Lubbock, Texas Submit Signatures for Cannabis Decriminalization Ordinance

Cannabis advocates in Lubbock, Texas on Tuesday submitted their petition to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis in the city after collecting 10,540 signatures, which is more than twice what it takes to force local officials to vote on the proposal.

Full story after the jump.

Advocates in Lubbock, Texas on Tuesday submitted their petition to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis in the city after collecting more than twice the number of signatures required to force city lawmakers to vote on the proposal, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports. Freedom Act Lubbock submitted 10,540 signatures to the city secretary’s office, exceeding the 4,800 signature requirement. 

The city secretary’s office still needs to verify the signatures are valid before the issue moves to the City Council. The ordinance aims to decriminalize the possession of less than 4 ounces of cannabis and cannabis-related paraphernalia within the Lubbock city limits and prevent law enforcement officers from using cannabis odor alone as probable cause for a search.  

If the City Council rejects the ordinance, the Freedom Act committee has the option to request a citywide election to determine whether to codify the ordinance. Adam Hernandez, communications chair for Lubbock Compact, told reporters on Tuesday that he expects the council will send the issue to voters.  

“It was not an easy task by any means, and hundreds of hours were spent planning and building out the strategy before we even collected our first signature. This not only shows the popularity of this initiative, but this incredible feat shows what’s possible when Lubbock citizens from every community get involved in the democratic process. But this is only the first part.” — Hernandez via the Avalanche-Journal 

Hernandez added that in six other cities in Texas that have passed similar reforms, the issue has gone to voters rather than adopted by the city councils.  

According to Hernandez, there are about 600 cannabis-related arrests per year in Lubbock. A similar ordinance approved in Killeen in 2022 led to the release of 146 of 188 people who came in contact with police for cannabis possession from November 9, 2022, through February 28, 2023. 

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