The city of Austin has passed Prop A by vote to eliminate misdemeanor marijuana arrests and ban the use of no-knock warrants.
At the time of writing the vote count was at 33,174 to 6505 votes to approve the measure. That’s a 83.61% to 16.38% vote. Ballot count is at 61% at the time of writing. This makes the measure almost statistically impossible to lose at this point. Early voting had started at the end of April in Austin. This accounted for roughly a little over 50% of the tallied vote according to KXAN News.
“We are so grateful to everybody who went out and collected signatures and everybody who voted low level marijuana, now let’s do this state,” Julie Oliver of Ground Game Texas told Texas Cannabis Collective at a Prop A Watch Party event.
Ground Game Texas lead the movement for the voter initiative. Ground Game gathered over 34,000 signatures, getting it the ballot for voters to decide to end the arrests. The number of valid signatures required by state law is as follows: “The governing body shall submit a proposed [ordinance] to the voters for their approval at an election if the submission is supported by a petition signed by a number of qualified voters of the municipality equal to at least five percent of the number of qualified voters of the municipality or 20,000, whichever number is the smaller.” [See Texas Local Government Code, §9.004(a)]
“The Austin community needs to know if they get rid of that, that takes away a tool that we use with very violent felons,” Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday told KXAN last month.
Casaday made it clear though that the police union was going to stay out of the marijuana conversation.