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San Marcos voters approve measure decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana

Clumps of weed.
Julia Reihs

Results were last updated around midnight Wednesday. If the chart does not appear below, refresh the page.

A proposition to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in San Marcos passed overwhelmingly — with 82% of the vote in favor of the measure.

Mano Amiga, a local criminal justice reform group, collected signatures to get the proposition on the ballot.

“We’re hopeful policy change on marijuana enforcement might be a first step toward fundamentally reassessing how we treat drug possession in Hays County," Sam Benavides, communications director for the group, said in a press release. "We need to stop treating health issues as criminal ones – a flawed solution which actually creates more harm while reducing public safety.”

The ordinance, Proposition A, stops the city’s police officers from arresting or issuing citations to people for some misdemeanors associated with possession of about 4 ounces or less of marijuana. Officers can issue citations and make arrests if they are part of a high-priority felony-level narcotics case or part of an investigation into a violent felony.

While officers would be allowed to confiscate a substance they think is marijuana, the ordinance specifies they cannot use the smell of marijuana or hemp as a reason to perform a search. They also wouldn’t be able to use any city money or employee time to test substances for THC, the element in marijuana that makes users feel “high.”

The city manager and chief of police will be required to ensure officers are properly trained. The city manager will also need to report to the City Council every three months on how the ordinance is being implemented.

The law will go into effect on Nov. 17, if the election results are certified.

Sangita Menon is a general assignment reporter for KUT. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @sangitamenon.
Maya Fawaz is KUT's Hays County reporter. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @mayagfawaz.
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