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Marijuana Decriminalization Hits Roadblock In Lubbock – What’s Next For Texas?

A proposal to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana failed to pass in Lubbock, now leaders are weighing their options to bring decriminalization to other Texas cities.

The proposal was pushed by the group Lubbock Compact, which aimed to decriminalize possession of less than four ounces of marijuana in most cases. Despite the group’s efforts, Proposition A, as it was called, was overwhelmingly rejected by a margin of 30 percentage points.

Despite the proposal’s failure, the group still has hope, as similar decriminalization measures have passed in Austin, Denton, Elgin, Harker, Killeen and San Marcos

“We just weren’t able to get that voter turnout high enough, but in a lot of cities, you may not have that same issue,” said Adam Hernandez, member of Lubbock Compact. “So I don’t think for the overall mission people should take this as sort of a bad sign if you will.”

Ground Game Texas, another group pushing for marijuana decriminalization, produced a report showing that 30% of the marijuana arrests were people from the African American community, but they’re only 8% of the population.

“So we know that there’s racially discriminatory enforcement practices related to marijuana reform,” Ground Game Texas said.

The proposal was opposed by local leaders, like Texas Rep. Carl Tepper, who said Lubbock rejected the measure because it had “common sense.”

“People from Lubbock travel a lot. We’re a great place to live, but our folks like to go out of town for vacation,” Tepper continued. “Again, they’ve been to Portland; they’ve been to Denver; they’ve been in New York City. They have some common sense. Those other communities made a horrible, terrible mistake.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also is opposing decriminalization measures, he is suing five cities where voters supported the proposal.

However, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) decision to reclassify medical marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule III drug could have a major impact on Texas.  If the DEA makes this move, it could put more pressure on local lawmakers to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Meanwhile, advocacy groups are still working with other cities to get decriminalization measures on the ballot, and now Dallas and Lockhart could be the next to decriminalize marijuana.

Written by RA News staff.


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