Lubbock, Texas City Council Rejects Cannabis Decriminalization; Issue to Head to Voters

City Council members in Lubbock, Texas have rejected a cannabis decriminalization proposal, leaving the issue for voters to decide during next year’s election.

Full story after the jump.

The Lubbock, Texas City Council on Tuesday unanimously rejected a proposed ordinance to decriminalize personal possession of cannabis, the Texas Tribune reports. The rejection by the council paves the way for the issue to be put to voters next year, which appeared to be the endgame for advocates behind the proposal. 

Adam Hernandez, communications chair for Lubbock Compact, advocated for the council to leave it up to a vote during the public comments, saying the issue is too important to be decided by seven people.  

“It’s not fair to either side – the council or the citizens – so our position was that it should go to a vote. We just needed them to vote it down so it would be put on the ballot. That’s what they chose to do, not necessarily for those reasons, but we’re good with that.” — Hernandez to the Tribune  

During the meeting, Mayor Tray Payne applauded the group’s efforts but said the proposal contradicts state law and, therefore, was “void and unenforceable.” 

“I do not think it’s appropriate that we try to contradict state law in this manner,” Payne said during the meeting. “Until and unless amendments are made by the Legislature, the city of Lubbock is curtailed by current state laws on the issue.” 

Residents in five Texas cities have approved similar ballot questions; however local city councils have declined to put the rules in place. The question will be put on ballots in May and, if approved, Lubbock would be the largest city in Texas to pass the reforms. 

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