In a Wednesday press release, the office of the attorney general (OAG) said it was suing the cities for “instructing police not to enforce Texas drug laws concerning possession and distribution of marijuana.
The drug, the OAG added, is one that “psychologists have increasingly linked to psychosis and other negative consequences.”
Paxton’s suit comes amid a broader push by the conservative state government to exert authority over its left-leaning cities.
The five cities targeted in Wednesday’s suit are Austin, San Marcos, Killeen, Elgin and Denton, each of which enacted laws decriminalizing marijuana one to three years ago. Paxton did not clarify why he chose to bring the lawsuit now.
Although none of the cities has legalized the drug — which would allow it to be bought and sold openly — each has passed ordinances directing police and prosecutors to deprioritize pressing charges against people holding small amounts of cannabis
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Attorney General Ken Paxton Sues Five Cities Over Marijuana Policies Preventing Enforcement of Texas Drug Laws
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has launched lawsuits against the cities of Austin, San Marcos, Killeen, Elgin, and Denton for adopting amnesty and non-prosecution policies that violate Texas laws concerning marijuana possession and distribution.
The five municipalities adopted ordinances or policies instructing police not to enforce Texas drug laws concerning possession and distribution of marijuana—an illicit substance that psychologists have increasingly linked to psychosis and other negative consequences. Texas Local Government Code forbids any political subdivision from adopting “a policy under which the entity will not fully enforce laws relating to drugs.” Further, the Texas Constitution notes that it is unlawful for municipalities to adopt ordinances that are inconsistent with the laws enacted by the Texas Legislature (Article 9, Section 5).
“I will not stand idly by as cities run by pro-crime extremists deliberately violate Texas law and promote the use of illicit drugs that harm our communities,” said Attorney General Paxton. “This unconstitutional action by municipalities demonstrates why Texas must have a law to ‘follow the law.’ It’s quite simple: the legislature passes every law after a full debate on the issues, and we don’t allow cities the ability to create anarchy by picking and choosing the laws they enforce.”
Attorney General Paxton remains committed to maintaining law and order in Texas when cities violate the lawful statutes designed to protect the public from crime, drugs, and violence. He continues to seek accountability for the rogue district attorneys whose abuse of prosecutorial discretion has contributed to a deadly national crimewave.
To read the filings, click here.Marijuana Lawsuits Filed