Five Texas cities on Election Day voted to decriminalize low-level cannabis possession, the Texas Tribune reports. The reforms passed in Denton, Elgin, Harker Heights, Killeen, and San Marcos.
The campaigns were backed by Ground Game Texas which earlier this year led a similar, successful, effort in Austin.
In San Marcos, home of Texas State University, voters approved the measure with nearly 82% of the vote, the report says. The Killeen measure passed by a near-70% margin. In Elgin, almost 75% of voters backed the reforms. In Harker Hill, more than 60% of voters approved the initiative.
Mike Siegel, political director of Ground Game Texas, told the Tribune that the organization is “extremely happy” with the results.
“These meaningful reforms will keep people out of jail and save scarce public resources for more important public safety needs.” — Siegal to the Tribune
The propositions establish local ordinances that end low-level enforcement, including citations and arrests for possessing less than four ounces of cannabis and related paraphernalia, in most cases. They also largely prohibit using city funds and staff to test substances for THC.
Siegel said the organization plans next to put the measure on San Antionio ballots in May 2023 and potentially on ballots in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston in 2024. Those campaigns could also focus on other social justice issues.
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