The need to end cannabis prohibition has gained steam across states in America since the 2020 election, though there’s still reluctance. However, a group of activists in Texas is aiming to address the need for cannabis reform.
As reported by Marijuana Moment, nonprofit group Ground Game Texas has unveiled a brand new campaign pushing to take cannabis reform further in Austin. Bat City has already enforced the “Austin Freedom Act” which aims to end misdemeanor marijuana arrests and citations. It also aims to prevent law enforcement from issuing citations for cannabis residue or paraphernalia as any sort of possession charge.
That means residents would be able to walk around with metal grinders and pre-rolled cones without having to stress. Cities like Austin and Dallas have already made policy changes in an attempt to reduce marijuana-related arrests.
Another issue that’s being addressed by Ground Game Texas is the use of city funds going towards requesting or testing cannabis products to find out whether it is a lawful product. It’s a complicated matter that hasn’t necessarily been addressed on a federal level. Hemp’s legal in the state but police are still on the hunt to seize cannabis.
“Marijuana reform is a winning issue and local efforts will drive voter engagement. State lawmakers—Democrats and Republicans—failed us during the legislative session,” director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, Heather Fazio, stated. “Maybe this level of political pressure will get their attention and bring them on board with meaningful reform statewide.”
The aim is to get this matter on the 2021 ballot but advocates need 20,000 official signatures by July 20th. However, they are striving to hit 25,000, just to be sure.
In addition to addressing cannabis reform, Ground Game Texas is also petitioning against law enforcement’s use of no-known warrants.
“Texans are fed up with their communities being over-criminalized and over-incarcerated by antiquated, racist laws and the politicians that protect them,” Julie Oliver, Executive Director of Ground Game Texas, said in a press release. “While Republican leadership in Austin fails to address our broken policing and criminal justice systems, Ground Game is proud to put progress directly on the ballot for voters. With their support, we will end the discriminatory enforcement of marijuana possession in Austin and bring an end to the dangerous use of no known warrants that put our community at risk.”