In the US, marijuana continues to be federally illegal. However, the people of Austin, Texas voted to decriminalize marijuana in the city on May 7, 2022. The motion aims to decriminalize small to medium quantities (less than 4-o.Z) of marijuana (aka weed).
So to answer your question, is weed decriminalized in Austin? Yes! Marijuana is decriminalized in Austin for small amounts.
Even though the most interesting event became the presidential election in 2020, other news-worthy events did take place. One of these was the voting held by numerous states on the cannabis industry’s future. Taking a page out of Washington or Colorado’s book, 4-states, including South Dakota, New Jersey, Arizona, and Montana, approved rules to make consuming marijuana legal recreationally.
However, different states have different stances on this issue. More states are coming forward to legitimize both recreational and medicinal use of marijuana.
Prior to this, Austinites endorsed a local poll widespread to declare marijuana lawful. It is a significant attainment for the Lone Star State’s activists, who support these reforms.
On top of that, the act additionally formally ends no-knock summons through police. After activists submitted over 33,000 signatures to qualify the issue, the Austin City Council approved a resolution to put it on the ballot.
Influence Of Decriminalizing Marijuana In Austin
This act changed the entire marijuana scene in Austin. Now, possession of small amounts of marijuana will no longer result in imprisonment, as that is banned. The possession of small amounts of marijuana is thus decriminalized, however it isn’t fully legalized. That means recreational marijuana is not available for sale. Medical marijuana exists in extremely limited capacities in Texas, under the Compassionate Care Act. There are very few places that can sell medical marijuana, though, and the rules are quite strict. That makes it very hard to be a part of the medical marijuana program in Texas.
In Austin it will remain illegal to purchase or sell marijuana (unless via the Compassionate Care Act) for now. The decriminalization alone is a great step forward, though, for a state that so often leans red.
According to a recent poll, many Texans want even more comprehensive change to legalize pot for adult use. It’s a popular notion across the US, and Texas is no exception, despite the state leaning quite conservative. Austin has long been a liberal spot in the blanket of red, so it makes sense that it’s the first Texas city to enact such a vote.
Is Decriminalizing Marijuana Good For Austin TX Economy?
The state-by-state changes have generated a growing industry of legit cannabis businesses. That includes cannabis growers, manufacturers, and more. This growth brings more jobs and taxes for states that legalize fully, which Austin (and Texas) hasn’t quite done.
As the first states have changed their legal views, the financial advantages of legalizing marijuana have already been apparent. Overall, legalizing marijuana might significantly impact state economics and generate massive revenue for federal and state governments. For many in favor of legalization, this is a huge point they make.
Important Points to Remember
- In the United States, there has already been an increasing public movement to legalize marijuana for recreational and medicinal use in several regions now.
- One reason for decriminalization or legalization is the potential economic advantages of marijuana’s authorized commercial availability.
- Higher tax income, job creation, and capital investments are compelling reasons to support legalization.
- As of May 2022, 18 states permit personal marijuana use, while 37 states have passed medicinal marijuana use.
- Even though tax collection in most of these states is about to begin, a sum of $3.7 billion in proceeds was received in 2021, nearly twice the amount received in 2019.
- And, perhaps most importantly, many marijuana arrests would end with legalization or decriminalization.
Final Thoughts on Marijuana in Austin
However, every good attempt meets resistance and marijuana legalization across the state is no exception. Critics point to the possibility of confusion amid law enforcement authorities trying to cope with changing regulations. They also point out issues about increased unemployment or adolescent use of the drug, should it become fully legal. People can oppose to changing marijuana’s regulatory status solely because it would mean a change in the system.
Most people, however, are totally in favor of legalizing marijuana in Texas. This move to decriminalize in Austin is just the start of what people want to see happen in the State.
There are numerous strong reasons to consider national legalization. More states decriminalize or legalize marijuana all the time, perhaps more cities will follow suit like Austin. There are certainly many factors to consider, but in our opinion the pros outweigh the cons.
We hope you learn more about marijuana decriminalization from this blog! Cannabis laws are always changing, so make sure to stay abreast of updates. Have more questions on cannabis or marijuana in Austin or Texas at large? Let us know in the comments below!
We are not experts on Texas government and do not offer expert advice, merely our best understanding of the subject.