Austin activists push to get weed decriminalized

In Austin, Texas many local residents have turned into political activists to get weed decriminalized after hitting a brick wall in the Texas Legislature. Surrounding towns around Austin have started to organize groups to get the issue placed on propositions, a strategy that could make it’s way to local elections.

“As a business owner, Texas is ready for the movement, Texas is ready for the change, people are moving away and having it to bring weed in illegally from other states” says Kai Vasquez, who also owns Coastal Bud Dispensary at 503 Elm Street in Portland, Texas.

Eighteen states in the United States have already legalized the drug for recreational use and another nine have decriminalized marijuana in very small amounts, but in the Lone Star State, neither has happened.

In Nueces County, the District Attorney has already announced his office will no longer prosecute low level amounts of weed, meaning their has to be over 0.3 % of THC that is tested in an expensive crime labratory of the state that could take years to get back results due to backed up drug cases.

As legislation for legalizing weed has come to a halt in Texas. Austin and other major Texas cities like Dallas have already independently enacted law enforcement policy changes aimed at reducing arrests for cannabis-related offenses by issuing citations and summons, these ballot initiatives would take the reform further.

There is no statewide, citizen-led initiative process that would enable activists to put an issue like decriminalization or legalization on the Texas ballot. But at the local level, there are limited cases where activists can leverage home rule laws that allow for policy changes, such as the city of Corpus Christi.

Do you think weed should finally be legalized in Texas for recreational use all together?