Article: Citizens’ Group Forces Texas Cities to Criminalize Cannabis

Denton, Texas — Denton may be the next city to join Texas’ growing list of criminalizing cannabis. It is thanks to the efforts of a small civic group in the town.  Writes Texas News Today

Members of the city council agreed to discuss options that could vote for the ordinance, at least during future work sessions. This issue was brought to the council members by the group Decriminalize Denton. The group is making a second attempt to promote non-criminalization after the previous attempt has not progressed.

“Prohibiting the arrest and citation of misdemeanor-level cannabis crimes in the city of Denton,” said group leader Tristan Seikel.

Mr. Sekel also said his group wants to stop the taxpayer’s dollars used for the expensive testing of low-level criminals required for prosecution. He said he has been promoting such a move at the local level since he was a student at the University of North Texas and saw such arrests ruining the lives of small amounts of plants. The University of Texas, the Texas Tribune, and Texas have made a dramatic shift to support legalization anyway.

The decriminalization of Denton member Stanton Blusher has directly seen the life-changing consequences of low-level cannabis arrests.

“I was actually selling it,” said Blusher, who said he sold cannabis at his homes in California and Denton because of its medicinal properties. “I was arrested here, but I was a businessman in San Diego.”

As a medical cannabis user, Blasser said he chose to seize the opportunity to sell here and saw the results, but said the aftermath of a felony was an experience, to say the least.

Mr. Brusher said the prosecutor gave him so much more than the rulings he might have faced, but when he began probation, he was in Texas Cannabis Control Law. I found the confusion created by the current state.

“Texas has two provisions that non-compliance violates probation. You must take all medications as prescribed. The other is to stay away from THC.”

Brusher, who said he was registered in the state as a legal and compassionate medical cannabis user, is now a bit inconsistent.

“So now I’m violating probation in either way,” Blasher said with a laugh.

It’s such a mess that Brasher, Seikel, and other group members say they really motivated them to drive change locally. Texas cannabis law continues to be enacted by the state legislature, and there is little movement to relax substance restrictions or at least prevent them from being considered as State Schedule 1 drugs.

As a result, initiatives like Decriminalize Denton are becoming more active in the Texas-wide community, stalling at the state level while addressing topics at the regional level.

According to NORML, a national organization for reforming marijuana law, nearly 12 cities or counties in Texas have some form of policy, such as citation or release, or simple fines for low-level criminals. Is moving to non-criminalization. Prohibition of using city funds to prosecute non-ferrony cannabis cases, such as the city of Austin.

“they [low-level cannabis cases] It will be rejected at the DA level in Dallas County, “said Dallas lawyer Shaun Naidoo.

Naidoo said he is seeing more prosecutors beginning to support non-criminalization because of the costs associated with these charges.

As the latest agricultural bill was passed and allowed the sale of low-level THC from hemp products, Naidoo needs to obtain tests to determine the THC level of criminals in these cases, 2 He said it can only be done through two state laboratories. .. He said it was the cost of pushing the district attorney not to worry about the case.

“After all, that’s a budget, isn’t it?” Naidoo said. “I’m always looking at it from that financial point of view because I can save taxpayers and city money and spend that money on other, more important things.”

Fat Arminter, a member of the Denton City Council who helped Denton’s non-criminalization plan for Congress, said it was a great consideration as they bring potential ordinances to working sessions. ..

“It’s not worth the thousands of dollars to justify beating people with non-violent crimes without casualties,” Armintor said.

Councilors also add that non-criminalization helps address the long-standing disparities observed in cannabis arrests between different races and wealth classes. She said there were 128 white men and 120 black men arrested for cannabis crimes in Denton last year, in a town where less than 10% of the population is black.

Mr. Sekel said even having the city council consider the ordinance was a victory for their group, but they wouldn’t stop there. Members of the group said they would like to help other groups in other communities promote non-criminalization if they ultimately succeed.

“We definitely need to put more and more emphasis on the local level,” Seikel said.

As Brusher said, it seems to be their best way to change now.

“If we don’t intend to get Texas law, all we can do is go in at the local level, at least loosen the law and loosen the penalties,” Blasher said.

Citizens’ Group Forces Texas Cities to Criminalize Cannabis

Source:  https://texasnewstoday.com/citizens-group-forces-texas-cities-to-criminalize-cannabis/535917/

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