Organization pushes to decriminalize marijuana and end ‘no knock’ warrants in Austin

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Decriminalizing marijuana and ending “no knock” warrants — Austin City Council approved these measures last year, but police have yet to make official, according to some city council members.

One voter engagement and mobilization organization is launching an initiative to amend the Austin City Code. Ground Game Texas launched its new campaign, the “Austin Freedom Act of 2021.” The act would end “no knock” warrants and decriminalize low-level marijuana offenses. 

They must collect at least 20,000 signatures under the Austin City Charter from qualified voters to get their initiative on the ballot. But Ground Game Texas is aiming for 25,000 signatures. And it may be easier than they think, according to a recent poll: 87% of Texans support legalizing marijuana and 75% support banning “no knock” warrants. 

“Texans are fed up with their communities being over-criminalized and over-incarcerated by antiquated, racist laws and the politicians that protect them,” said Julie Oliver, executive director of Ground Game, in a press release. “While Republican leadership in Austin fails to address our broken policing and criminal justice systems, Ground Game is proud to put progress directly on the ballot for voters. With their support, we will end the discriminatory enforcement of marijuana possession in Austin and bring an end to the dangerous use of no knock warrants that put our community at risk.” 

We reached out to Austin Police earlier on Wednesday to ask if it had officially changed its policies. We will update the story once we receive a response.

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