Austin Texas just voted to decriminalize marijuana. 85% of voters showed up and voted in favor of passing Proposition A which would immediately decriminalize marijuana in the capital. There were also some other pieces of legislation included within the proposition.
Proposition A does more than decriminalize marijuana, the proposition also prevents police from executing no-knock warrants. These no-knock warrants allow police to enter private residences unannounced. Proposition A has basically solidified legislation that was in place prior to the vote last week. In July 2020, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley released a memo instructing officers to stop issuing citations or arresting people for low level marijuana offenses. Proposition A basically puts that memo into legislative form. Also, very few no-knock warrants have been issued since the killing of Breonna Taylor when a no-knock warrant ultimately led to her demise.
Even though marijuana has been decriminalized within the borders of Austin, many citizens within the state are still being arrested every year from marijuana related crimes. In 2019 alone, more than 45,000 arrests were made for marijuana possession. In 2018, that number was around 63,000.
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