Mano Amiga, a San Marcos grassroots organization, is petitioning for an initiative to decriminalize cannabis on the November ballot, according to Fox 7 Austin.
“We just think that it’s time,” said Samantha Benavides, communications director for Mano Amiga. “Many people in our community are having their lives so needlessly disrupted over possession of cannabis when just north of the county line they aren’t even being prosecuted for it.”
Cannabis is illegal in Texas, however, Austin police officers do not place criminal charges upon individuals found with small amounts, per a 2020 ordinance.
The initiative would ensure that “San Marcos police officers shall not issue citations or make arrests for Class A or Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana offenses,” excluding limited circumstances.
Data from the Vera Institute of Justice indicates that one in ten Hays County Jail bookings are related to cannabis possession, and cannabis possession is the only charge for a quarter of those.
In order for the initiative to qualify for the November ballot, 10% of registered voters in San Marcos must sign the petition within 180 days.