Freedom Act Lubbock collecting signatures to decriminalize marijuana
“The main goal is to keep people out of jail for this.”
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The legalization and decriminalization of marijuana has come up many times in recent years in the Texas legislature.
The drug is still illegal in Texas but six cities across the state have adopted an ordinance approved by voters to decriminalize it. Now, Lubbock is looking to do the same.
“The main goal is to keep people out of jail for this, if that’s the only thing they’re doing. If they’re involved in criminal activity all bets are off,” Freedom Act of Lubbock communications chair, Adam Hernandez, said.
This petition was initiated by Freedom Act Lubbock, aimed at eliminating enforcement of low-level marijuana offenses - low level meaning misdemeanor charge levels of Class A and B, of four ounces and below.
“If you’re just a normal person either using it recreational or you’re using it to heal some sort of medical symptoms we don’t think you should go to jail for that,” Hernandez said.
The petition is on a timer. Freedom Act Lubbock has 60 days to collect the required amount of signatures. If the signatures are collected it will go to city council for a vote.
“Should they vote it down, we as the initiating committee have the option for the city to put it on the ballot for the registered voters of Lubbock to vote on,” Hernandez said.
The petition comes after voters in five Texas cities approved the same ordinance, but some officials in those cities pushed back, stating it violates state law. Those lines are unclear.
“There are a couple of contests to that in a couple of those cities but overall it’s been widely accepted. It really wouldn’t go against what’s happening across the state already,” he said.
One of the goals of this petition is to free up law enforcement resources and jail beds.
“Save the city resources which are already limited and use those for other, more serious things” He said.
You do have to be a registered voter in Lubbock County to sign the petition and if the ordinance is voted down by city council, it will be on your ballots in May 2024. If you are interested in signing the petition you can find it at https://freedomactlubbock.org/.
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