SAN MARCOS, Texas — Voters in San Marcos and Elgin have chosen to decriminalize marijuana within the city limits.
Proposition A calls for the elimination of enforcement for people found in possession of 4 ounces or less of marijuana. As of right now, San Marcos police can only issue citations, not arrests, for marijuana due to a 2020 ordinance that organization Mano Amiga pushed for.
Tuesday’s ballot measure would prohibit arrests and citations for low-level marijuana offenses.
Prop A would also make it so San Marcos police cannot use the smell of marijuana as probable cause for a search.
The ballot measure states the exceptions to this ordinance would be if the marijuana arrest is connected to a violent felony or felony drug charge.
“We’re hopeful policy change on marijuana enforcement might be a first step toward fundamentally reassessing how we treat drug possession in Hays County. Far too many residents are locked in cages here who instead need and deserve professional assistance to tackle addiction. We need to stop treating health issues as criminal ones – a flawed solution, which actually creates more harm while reducing public safety,” said Sam Benavides, communications director with Mano Amiga Action.
In June, Mano Amiga announced it had collected enough signatures to secure a ballot initiative to decriminalize marijuana across the City of San Marcos. In July, those signatures were certified by the city clerk and were later also been certified by the city council.
A similar ballot initiative was also recently successful in Austin, with voters casting their votes to pass it. The Austin initiative also banned the use of no-knock warrants.