One of the largest cities in the state is moving closer to decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana.

The Texas Tribune is reporting that a petition pushed by the group Ground Game Texas has received enough signatures to qualify for inclusion on the May ballot.

The measure would make it so police officers in Austin would be prohibited from arresting individuals for possession of small amounts of marijuana or marijuana-related paraphernalia.

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Governor Greg Abbott is on board with the measure. While campaigning in Edinburg, he said he doesn’t believe we should stockpile jails with people convicted of being in possession of small amounts of marijuana:

One thing that I believe in, and I believe the state Legislature believes in, and that is prison and jail is a place for dangerous criminals who may harm others. Small possession of marijuana is not the type of violation that we want to stockpile jails with.

Critics of the measure point out the fact that possession of small amounts of marijuana is still illegal in Texas and that Austin should abide by state law.

Ken Casaday, head of the Austin Police Association, says they don’t support the measure simply because it goes against state law, but will honor the measure if voters approve it.

Voters will most likely approve the measure. Most people in Texas support the decriminalization of at least small amounts of marijuana, according to a poll conducted by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune in June of 2021.

Texas appears to slowly be moving toward the legalization of recreational marijuana. However, there is still a long way to go.

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