GOP Gov. Abbott Sides With AG Paxton On Texas Weed Decriminalization

Next week, the residents of Lubbock, which is the largest city in West Texas with 264,000 residents, will vote on whether to make local low-level marijuana offenses less serious. If the vote passes, Lubbock will join other cities in Texas that have already done the same.

Regarding the upcoming May 4 vote, which has been a topic of discussion for a long time, Governor Greg Abbott (R) expressed his belief that it is not the appropriate method for bringing about change. According to Marijuana Moment, he suggests contacting lawmakers instead.

“Local communities like towns, cities, and counties do not have the power to go against state law,” said Abbott. He had previously agreed that just having marijuana should not be a reason to put someone in jail. “If people want a new law to be passed, they should collaborate with their lawmakers.” Let’s work together to pass laws at the state level.

Even though Lubbock Mayor Tray Payne, who is a Republican, praised the efforts of the Lubbock Compact, a public policy think tank, he partially agrees with Governor Abbott’s position. He recently stated that the proposal goes against state law and is considered “invalid and cannot be enforced.”

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GOP AG’s Lawsuit Against Five Texas Cities

However, the person who strongly opposes changing cannabis laws is Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. He recently filed lawsuits against five cities for implementing policies that go against Texas laws on marijuana possession and distribution.

“I will not just watch as cities, led by extremists who support crime, intentionally break Texas law and encourage the use of illegal drugs that damage our communities,” Paxton stated in a press release in January. Attorney General Paxton filed lawsuits against the cities of Austin, San Marcos, Killeen, Elgin, and Denton.

“The actions of municipalities that go against the constitution show why Texas needs a law to ensure that everyone follows the law.” Paxton explained that the process is straightforward: the legislature discusses and approves every law after a thorough debate on the issues. Additionally, cities are not allowed to create chaos by selectively enforcing laws.

Early voting in Lubbock started on April 22 and will continue until April 30. Election Day will be on the following Saturday. In an interview, Abbott expressed concern about cities selectively enforcing laws, which he believes would lead to chaos.

Adam Hernandez, who is in charge of communications for Lubbock Compact and Freedom Act Lubbock, has a different opinion.

“The state constitution of Texas allows for home rule cities. This means that cities can create laws that are most suitable for their local needs and goals,” he said recently.

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