Texas: Austin City Council Approves Marijuana Deprioritization Resolution

Austin, TX: Members of the Austin City Council have unanimously approved a resolution which forbids city officials from spending funds for the purpose of prosecuting low-level marijuana possession offenses.

The sponsor of the resolution called the measure necessary in order to reprioritize limited police resources and to arrest the racial disproportionality in marijuana arrests.

Texas NORML Executive Director Jax Finkel praised the change in municipal policy. "Austin officials should be doing the absolute most they can within their discretion to prevent these arrests," she said. "This resolution prevents taxpayers’ funds from being wasted on enforcing this failed policy and refocuses monies where they belong, protecting our city from violent and property crimes."

The local ordinance also applies to activities involving the personal possession of cannabis concentrates, edibles, or vapor cartridges.

Under state law, low-level marijuana possession offenses are classified as criminal misdemeanors, punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a $2,000 fine, and a criminal record. Annually, Texas police make over 60,000 marijuana possession arrests – one of the highest totals in the nation.

For more information, visit Texas NORML.