Texas Sues Cities Over Voter-Approved Cannabis Decriminalization Policies

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a lawsuit against five Texas cities and their officials for adopting cannabis decriminalization policies, arguing these policies violate state laws and the state constitution.

Full story after the jump.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) announced on Wednesday a new lawsuit by his office against the five Texas cities that have passed cannabis decriminalization policies, The Hill reports.

The lawsuit names city mayors and council members from the five cities, which include Austin, Denton, Elgin, Killeen, and San Marcos, and argues that officials have adopted amnesty and non-prosecution policies “that violate Texas laws concerning marijuana possession and distribution.” The lawsuit further states that the cities’ decriminalization policies — all of which stem from successful voter initiatives — are illegal under the state constitution, which prohibits municipalities from enacting ordinances that are inconsistent with state law.

“I will not stand idly by as cities run by pro-crime extremists deliberately violate Texas law and promote the use of illicit drugs that harm our communities. This unconstitutional action by municipalities demonstrates why Texas must have a law to ‘follow the law.’ It’s quite simple: the legislature passes every law after a full debate on the issues, and we don’t allow cities the ability to create anarchy by picking and choosing the laws they enforce.” — AG Paxton, in a press release

Voters from a sixth Texas city, Harker Heights, approved cannabis decriminalization alongside others named in the suit during the most recent midterm elections, but the city council there ultimately repealed the initiative, the report said.

Notably, city council members in Lubbock recently rejected a cannabis decriminalization proposal, which prompted the issue to be kicked to voters during the election later this year.

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