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Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

An emerging battle over marijuana laws between Austin and Texas

By meerna Jun12,2024

In 2022, eighty-five percent of voters in Austin, Texas approved the Austin Freedom Act, which deprioritizes possession of small amounts of marijuana. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton doesn’t like this bill. According to a report by KVUE, his office filed a lawsuit against Austin, maintaining that cities in the state cannot opt ​​into the state Legislature’s decriminalization of crimes.

Austin is one of at least sixteen cities or counties in Texas that have stopped enforcing laws against possession of small amounts of marijuana.

According to Normal.org, larger cities like Dallas and El Paso and counties like Bexar and Nueces have done the same.

However, the state of Texas presents a counter-argument. They argue that this decriminalization violates state law and is illegal regardless of community consent.

Austin responded that the policy was working. This allows law enforcement agencies to deal with more serious and dangerous crimes. The city also maintains that historically, minorities have been disproportionately targeted by law enforcement.

The lawsuit was filed in Travis County’s 345th District Court, and the AG’s office sought a preliminary injunction before a hearing with Judge Jan Soifar. The judge said she would take time to consider both sides before making a decision.

No matter which side you are on, this is an important decision for the citizens of Texas. This will have a lasting impact on the marijuana debate in Texas. Right now, it appears the state is doing everything it can to ease the marijuana reform bill that would ultimately lead to legalization in Texas.

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