That’s a fairly overwhelming majority!
Voters in Austin, Texas overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative to decriminalize low-level cannabis possession and ban no-knock warrants, the Austin American-Statesman reports. The measure passed with 85.49% of the vote.
The city council must next codify the rules into law and once finalized, Austin police will be barred from issuing citations or making arrests for low-level cannabis possession – with limited exceptions – and will be required to announce their presence and wait at least 15 seconds before executing a search warrant.
The only exception for the cannabis policy is if the arrest or citation is part of an investigation into a high-priority narcotics case or a violent felony, the report says. Police will be allowed to seize cannabis under the policy.
Neither is a major change from the current police department policy. In 2020, the Austin City Council passed a resolution to end misdemeanor cannabis arrests and tickets, but the vote entrenches that resolution as law. City police officials said they execute just a handful of no-knock warrants every year, but the vote will prohibit the practice entirely.
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