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Organizations push for marijuana ordinance in Killeen and Harker Heights

Proposition A will change how police prosecute Class A or Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana offenses, except in limited circumstances.

KILLEEN, Texas — On Election Day, voters in Killeen and Harker Heights will be able to vote for or against decriminalizing of small amounts marijuana. The goal of Proposition A is to eliminate enforcement of Class A or Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana offenses, except in limited circumstances such as a felony investigation. 

This ordinance was pushed by the voter engagement and mobilization organization Ground Game Texas. After gathering more than 1,800 signatures of registered Killeen and Harker Heights voters, they succeeded in getting the Killeen and Harker Heights Freedom Acts on the ballot.

Executive Director of Ground Game Julie Oliver believes law enforcement has more important matters to address and should worry less about small possessions of marijuana.

"There's not a law in the books that says law enforcement must give somebody a ticket if they are breaking the speed limit, that's what this is similar to. There's no law in the books in the state of Texas that say you have to enforce marijuana possession laws. And so, law enforcement in the city of Killeen, city of Harker Heights should those two cities pass this, they will stop enforcing misdemeanor marijuana possession cases," Oliver explained.

Some local veterans are also supporting the ordinance.

David Bass created Texas Veterans for Medical Marijuana, an organization in Killeen that fully supports passing this ordinance. Bass says the weight of smoking illegally is a hassle and veterans dealing with PTSD rely on marijuana heavily to recover.

"I stopped using opioid for chronic pain and I stopped using psychotropic medications for post-traumatic stress disorder. I'm a living breathing example of how cannabis is a healing plant and we believe it was given to us by God as medicine," Bass shared.

Regardless of if the ordinance passes or not, Bell County Attorney Jim Nichols told 6 News in early August that the County Attorney's Office is the agency actually charging individuals for "possession of a controlled substance," which marijuana falls into, and a City of Killeen ordinance would do nothing to change that.  

Nichols went on to share that nothing would change in Bell County in regards to what was considered legal and illegal. He said he doesn't want to see any Killeen citizens get into trouble because they believed marijuana was becoming legal to some extent.  

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