Texas: Harker Heights’ Voters Reject City Council’s Efforts to Repeal Marijuana Depenalization Ordinance

Harker Heights, TX: Voters in the city of Harker Heights (population: 34,000) decided against an effort by the city council to continue to enforce local marijuana possession penalties, according to preliminary election results. Voters decided ‘yes’ on a referendum rejecting the city’s plans on May 6th; however, the election results are not scheduled to be certified until May 16. 

Harker Heights was among five cities in November where voters passed municipal initiatives limiting the abilities of local law enforcement personnel to either make arrests or issue citations for certain cannabis possession offenses. Weeks later, city lawmakers decided to repeal the initiated measure – arguing that it placed inappropriate burdens on police officers and that it conflicted with state law.

Ground Game Texas, the group that coordinated the citywide initiative campaigns, then collected sufficient signatures to challenge the council’s action – making last week’s vote the second time in less than a year that Harker Heights residents have decided in favor of depenalizing cannabis.

Also on Saturday, voters in San Antonio rejected an initiative that sought to similarly amend that city’s marijuana policies. However, that initiative also included unrelated language specific to the enforcement of abortion laws.

Additional information is available from the NORML Report ‘Local Decriminalization Laws.’