Texas Cannabis Advocates Gather 50,000 Signatures To Place Marijuana Decriminalization On November Ballot In Dallas

Zinger Key Points
  • If approved by voters, the measure would decriminalize possession of four ounces of marijuana in Dallas, the state's third largest city.
  • Four other towns that have decriminalized cannabis are being sued by TX Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Texas activists submitted nearly 50,000 signatures to place a marijuana decriminalization initiative on the ballot in Dallas this November. Ground Game Texas, which has championed cannabis reform across multiple Texas cities, announced they handed in the signatures to City Hall on Monday. The campaign began collecting signatures in January.

The amendment would direct the Dallas Police Department to stop issuing citations and making arrests for Class A or Class B misdemeanor marijuana possession unless it’s part of a high-priority felony investigation involving narcotics or violent crime.

If verified and approved by voters, the measure would decriminalize possession of up to four ounces of marijuana in Dallas, the state’s third-largest city with a population of 1.3 million. Activists say they far surpassed the required 35,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot.

"The Dallas Freedom Act is just that—it's part of a larger movement that rejects division, creates the change we all deserve, and in true Texan spirit, unapologetically demands it now," Ground Game Texas executive director Catina Voellinger said in a press release. "From our signatures on the petition to our collective votes on the ballot, this is our power, our voice, our moral receipt—this is our Texas movement."

Meanwhile, several Dallas City Council members are considering a legislative route to implement the measure directly, potentially bypassing the need for ballot verification.

Chad West said in early June that he’d propose a City Charter amendment at the upcoming meeting to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Fellow council members Adam Bazaldua, Jaime Resendez and Zarin Gracey agreed, citing cost savings on the signature verification process.

And Then There’s AG Ken Paxton Who’s Suing Half The State

Several other cities across Texas have decriminalized marijuana with over 70% voter approval. Those cities include Denton, Elgin, Killeen and San Marcos, all of which are being sued by Texas’ GOP Attorney General Ken Paxton. Austin was in the mix but a judge recently dismissed Paxton’s case. Paxton said in February, “I will not stand idly by as cities run by pro-crime extremists deliberately violate Texas law and promote the use of illicit drugs that harm our communities."

In related good news, Ground Game Texas announced several days ago the Dallas AFL-CIO endorsed the Dallas Freedom Act.

Now read: Pennsylvania Could Miss Out On Billions Of Dollars In Cannabis Sales If Legalization Efforts Fail

Photo: El Planteo

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsLegalTop StoriesCannabis DecriminalizationCannabis TexasDallasGround Game TexasKen Paxton
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