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Advocates looking to push marijuana legalization to Texas legislators

For Killeen, nearly 70% of voters approved the proposition. For Harker Heights, it was 63%.

KILLEEN, Texas — Since the outpouring of voters in Killeen, Harker Heights and a handful of other cities voting to decriminalize misdemeanor marijuana possession, advocates are now pushing to move this even further to Texas legislators.

Midterm elections results revealed Killeen saw nearly 70% of voters who approved the proposition. For Harker Heights, it was 63%. 

In San Marcos, close to 82% said yes, Elgin saw 74%, and in Denton 71% approved Proposition A.

The Ground Game organization was behind this initially getting put on the ballots. Their executive director Julie Oliver believes Texas will have enough support from local communities to take this to the next step and present decriminalization to the next Texas Legislative Session in 2023.

"What is next for Ground Game is we're going to continue working with organizers and activists and nonprofits on the ground and communities across our state to bring progressive change to a communities because it seems that there's a disconnect between what elected officials are doing and what their communities want," Oliver mentioned.

She went on to say she understands things won't happen instantly and pushing for recreational marijuana usage is a stretch, but police should prioritize more serious crime rather than marijuana usage in adults.

Ground Game also created initiatives to put climate charter on the ballot in El Paso.

According to Oliver, putting initiates on the ballot helps engage more 18-24 year-olds to vote in elections.

"The numbers are there to dramatically change the makeup of our state and who our leaders are. Young people will participate if we give them  a reason to and listen to their needs," 

While Proposition A did pass in Killeen and Harker Heights, it will not stop Bell County law enforcement from bringing any charges against offenders in the county.

This is why Bell County Republican Chair Mark Latimer says the entire proposition is pointless and serves no purpose.

"No one's even gonna be talking about it because it won't change anything. It won't change police behavior, it won't change court behavior, it won't change prosecutors behavior. It doesn't actually changed anything," Latimer explained.

The Texas Tribune explained how Gov. Greg Abbott, who was reelected Tuesday, did not directly say if the state would follow suit, but he has previously shown support for lessening penalties for low-level marijuana possession. 

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