A new initiative – Freedom Act Lubbock – has been launched in a bid to decriminalise low-level cannabis possession in the City of Lubbock, Texas.
The initiative is an “initiated ordinance” to change Lubbock city law and eliminate enforcement of low-level cannabis offences.
It aims to prevent incarcerations for cannabis possession, prevent racially-biased police practices, protect veterans who use cannabis for pain and PTSD, and save public resources among other goals.
A petition to back the initiative was launched on 18 August, having 60 days to collect nearly 5000 signatures to be considered by the City Council.
Adam Hernandez, communications chair for Lubbock Compact and orgainser of the campaign, told Lubbock Online that the proposed ordinance would decriminalise possession of less than 4 ounces of cannabis and would prevent law enforcement officers from using the smell of cannabis as probable cause for a search.
Hernandez told the publication: “Whatever their reason for using (marijuana), we don’t think people should go to jail for it unless they’re committing some other crime. We don’t think that’s a wise use of the city’s resources.”
He also highlighted the problem of racial bias when it comes to drug possession laws, noting that the city’s Black population represents 8% of its citizens, but 30% of arrests.