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DECRIMINALIZATION OF MARIJUANA ONE STEP CLOSER IN SAN MARCOS

todayAugust 1, 2022 69

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Jordan Young

News Director

Tomorrow the San Marcos City Council will vote on ballot access for the decriminalization of marijuana initiative. The San Marcos City Clerk Elizabeth Trevino certified the petition signatures last Friday. 

Local grassroots organizations Mano Amiga and Ground Game Texas spearheaded the movement for decriminalization.

According to Mano Amigas communications director Sam Benavides, “Council cannot reject it and they cannot change any of the language in the policy. All they can do is pass it outright or send it to the ballot.”

When I asked if the Council would vote for the measure outright. San Marcos City Councilman Maxfield Baker said, “While I’ve been told Council could consider adoption before it goes to the ballot. I have not seen where in our code this provision is located and so I’m not sure.” 

The petition seeks to replace the current cite-and-release policy. Under the current ordinance, police are required to issue citations instead of conducting an arrest for certain low-level, nonviolent crimes, like possession of small amounts of marijuana. 

The proposed change to the city ordinance would not apply to county, state, or federal law enforcement officers. Meaning they could still give a citation or arrest an individual for possession of marijuana. San Marcos police would be the lone agency obligated to follow the proposed measure. 

If voted into law, the Measure would end citations and arrests for up to 4 ounces of marijuana, possession of drug residue, and paraphernalia. San Marcos police also could no longer use the smell of marijuana to initiate a search. 

San Marcos citizens under the proposed measure could still receive a citation or be arrested for Class A or Class B misdemeanor offenses of marijuana possession.  

Councilman Baker says he “totally supports this initiative, and would prefer it go to the ballot. So that WHEN it passes it will hopefully have more buy in from staff and our police department.”  

The City Council meets tomorrow at 6 p.m. at City Hall. The meeting will be in-person and online. To view the meeting online go to http://sanmarcostx.gov/421/City-Council-Videos-Archives

Written by: ktsw899

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