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Killeen City Council prepares for litigation from Bell County

Councilmembers discussed the pending suit related to marijuana enforcement with the city attorney behind closed doors on Tuesday.

KILLEEN, Texas — There's a cloudy future for Proposition A in Killeen. The marijuana related proposition was approved by voters in November, but at last check, Bell County commissioners collectively voted to sue the city over it's passing.

If allowed to take effect it would decriminalize low levels of marijuana possession in Killeen. Instead of someone getting arrested for possessing a small amount of the drug, they might be issued a traffic ticket instead.

But as of Tuesday afternoon, 6 News has learned the lawsuit filed by county commissioners has yet to even be filed in court. A Bell County spokesperson didn't answer why that was.

Killeen City Council members met Tuesday evening behind closed doors to discuss the possible litigation.

Councilman Jose Segarra said he couldn't share many details about the closed meeting session, but he did say that the county attorney supplied them legal advice as they head into unchartered territories.

"I can tell you this probably is a first for us here in the county," he added. "People say, you know, we voted for it should become law and that's not going to happen unless it's in line with our state laws and our federal laws. That's the thing, the education part, that I think that we as leadership need to inform our council or our citizens that that's why we're having such a hard issue with this."

Segarra tells 6 News its best that this does end up in a court as that is where he believes the marijuana matter belongs.

"I think that when the county does sue us, what we're going to do is we're going to take that to the court and the court have them make a decision," he explained. "I think that's important, and that's where this item should be."

A citizen signed up for public comment Tuesday night at the council meeting to address the council on the ongoing Proposition A issues. He request the council not move forward with the ordinance which would potentially avoid a suit.

"Whatever happens with that, I would recommend that you just in the spirit of the law, the law, not the oath not some vacuous loyalty to voters and oath before law, I would say vote to repeal it and save yourself some trouble," the citizen said.

A Bell County spokesperson tells 6 News the County Attorney Jim Nichols has promised to contact Killeen before the suit is filed in court. 6 News did reach out for additional comment, like why it's not filed in court yet, but have not heard back as of Tuesday night.

Here's what Nichols said in August before residents and the City of Killeen even took action on the matter.

"An individual city cannot make something legal that the state, on a statewide basis, has made illegal," he said in an interview in August. "What they are trying to do is say that the state law doesn't apply to the geography of the city of killeen, and they don't have the power to do that."

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