Austin, Texas voters have spoken and approved an initiative to decriminalize low-level marijuana offenses. It's important to note, that doesn't mean weed is legal.

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Saturday, May 7 saw voters in Austin hit the polls to vote on a variety of things, and although turnout was low, 11% of registered voters in Travis County showed up to vote. As a result, Prop A passed overwhelmingly with 85% of voters in favor.

Prop A

Prop A contained two chapters, one that would make changes to marijuana possession offenses and one that would prohibit Austin police from executing no-knock search warrants. The Austin voters that turned out to vote passed Prop A with a vote of 57,969 in favor, while 9,840 voted against.

Decriminalization of Marijuana

Texas has already taken steps when it comes to hemp and CBD, so it's not like the issue hasn't gotten any attention lately. According to KVUE, Austin PD has already stopped arresting or ticketing people for personal marijuana possession as of July of 2020.

Decriminalization Is Not Legalization

It's important to note that decriminalization is not the same as legalization. Basically the ordinance just stops police from making arrests on low-level marijuana offenses like possession of small amounts of weed and paraphernalia. That said, marijuana is still illegal in Texas.

Here's how the ordinance will work, according to KVUE, Austin police officers will no longer be allowed to "issue citations for most Class A or Class B misdemeanor possession offenses."  The newly passed ordinance will go into effect immediately.

No-Knock Warrants

The other part of Prop A was the banning of no-knock warrants. This has been an issue for many years, but recently picked up more support following the death of Breonna Taylor after she was shot by police that were serving a no-knock warrant at the apartment in which she was staying.

Will Austin lead the way for new marijuana laws? The company that spearheaded the ordinance in Austin is also looking to decriminalize low-level offenses in Killeen. Ground Game Texas is leading the petition.

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