Lockhart could become the next Texas city to decriminalize marijuana

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LOCKHART, Texas (KXAN) – A Central Texas nonprofit is spearheading a campaign to decriminalize marijuana in Lockhart.

Mano Amiga, a nonprofit working in Hays and Caldwell counties, has already collected around half the signatures required to get a marijuana decriminalization measure on the ballot this November.

PREVIOUS: San Marcos votes to decriminalize low-level marijuana possession

“Through our time in Lockhart over the last month, we’ve seen a huge amount of support for [weed decriminlization] from both ends of the political spectrum. It doesn’t make sense to use city funds and scarce resources to punish people for something when we could invest in public resources to actually help address any issues at the root,” said Elle Cross, who is leading Mano Amiga’s Lockhart initiative.

“We don’t believe in criminalization, we believe in care and communities,” she continued.

Mano Amiga was also at the forefront of getting marijuana decriminalized in San Marcos in 2022. There, more than 80% of voters decided to decriminalize low-level marijuana possession within the city limits.

On Wednesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced lawsuits against the five Texas cities – Austin, San Marcos, Killeen, Elgin and Denton – that have passed decriminalization measures in recent years.

“This unconstitutional action by municipalities demonstrates why Texas must have a law to ‘follow the law.’ It’s quite simple: the legislature passes every law after a full debate on the issues, and we don’t allow cities the ability to create anarchy by picking and choosing the laws they enforce,” Paxton said in a release.

Cross said Paxon’s announcement will not deter Mano Amiga’s campaign in Lockhart.

“We’re definitely dismayed to see the Attorney General fighting against democracy,” Cross said. “We have the intention to continue collecting signatures and continue pushing forward with what we believe is the right of the people of Lockhart to decide where their scarce resources are allocated. “

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