Voters in Killeen, Texas will vote in November on an ordinance to decriminalize cannabis within city limits, 6 News reports. The City Council decided to put the issue to voters after unanimously voting against a proposal to enact the reforms.
If approved, the Killeen Police Department would no longer be able to use cannabis odor as probable cause for search and seizure with personal possession capped at 4 ounces.
The ordinance was brought after more than 2,500 residents signed a petition circulated by Ground Game Texas which has led similar efforts in Austin and Denton.
Julie Oliver, co-founder of Ground Game Texas, told 6 News prior to the council meeting that putting the issue to voters was her preferred course of action.
“We got over 2,000 signatures of residents in Killeen who really want to see this ordinance pass. Whether it happens at city council tonight, whether it happens in November – it will pass eventually. I want to let the people decide, I think it’s an important issue and the people should decide.” — Oliver to 6 News
The push by individual cities and towns in Texas to pass cannabis reforms comes as Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller (R) seeks to implement statewide cannabis reforms. In a July 15 op-ed, Miller called for the expansion of medical cannabis in the state and the end of prohibition, noting that he believes, “cannabis prohibition came from a place of fear, not from medical science or the analysis of social harm.”
“Sadly, the roots of this came from a history of racism, classism, and a large central government with an authoritarian desire to control others,” he wrote. “It is as anti-American in its origins as could be imaginable.”
Miller also appeared on Inside Texas Politics on July 23, saying that if medical cannabis will “help a toothache,” then he’s “for it.”
“This is about freedom. It’s about less regulation,” he said during his appearance on Inside Texas Politics. “It’s about less government. It’s about freedom between you and your doctor and getting the government out of your life. So, I think it’s a conservative issue.”
The reforms are opposed, however, by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R).
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