what is

Proposition A

Ordinance Summary

Purpose

Reform marijuana enforcement with objective to limit and ban city resources and reduce enforcement practices.

Enforcement

Directs Lubbock Police Department to not make any arrest or issue any citation for Class A or Class B misdemeanor marijuana possession, except under limited situations.

priority

If state of federal courts require city to enforce marijuana possession laws, Ordinance requires city budget and LPD policies to enforce these laws as “lowest enforcement priority.”

Purpose

Reform marijuana enforcement with objective to allocate city resources and reduce en​forcement practices.

enforcement

Directs Lubbock Police Department to not make any arrest or issue any citation for Class A or Class B misdemeanor marijuana possession, except under limited situations.

priority

If state of federal courts require city to enforce marijuana possession laws, Ordinance requires city budget and LPD policies to enforce these laws as “lowest enforcement priority.”

Restrictions on Enforcement

  • Does not amend or alter enforcement policies related to juveniles, including teen court.
  • Only allows LPD officer from enforcing marijuana possession laws if the offense is a) part of a felony narcotics investigation designated “high priority” by LPD senior leadership; b) revealed as part of an investigation of a violent felony.
  • If an LPD officer has probable cause to believe a substance is marijuana, the officer may seize the substance. However, if seized, the officer must write a report explaining the grounds for seizure and release any detained person if possession of marijuana is the sole charge .
  • Prohibits a citation for possession of drug residue or drug paraphernalia.
  • Defunds LPD from requesting, conducting, or obtaining THC testing of any cannabis-related substance except for a) purposes of toxicology testing to ensure public safety or b) the investigation of a violent felony offense.
  • Prohibits LPD from considering odor of marijuana as probable cause for search or seizure.

Disciplines Officers

Provides for the discipline of LPD officers who violate Ordinance and attempt to enforce state laws.

Quarterly Monitor Reports

Requires quarterly reports to City Council, in open session, to include:

Marijuana possession offenses (including total arrests made, total citations issues, estimated personnel hours used in conducting enforcement activities, and demographic information for each person charged with an offense, including age, gender, race, and ethnicity.

Frequently Asked questions

No. This proposed ordinance does not do anything to legalize marijuana sales. Texas law makes it illegal to sell marijuana and that can’t be changed by any municipality, but through legislative action.    

This ordinance would handcuff the Lubbock Police Department from enforcing state law. It would tell officers to not charge or arrest individuals with up to 4 ounces of marijuana – the equivalent of over 200 joints. That’s not low level and that is a big deal. 

The Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP) allows for the use of THC for qualifying conditions. This law can continue to be advanced, through action of the legislature not municipalities. The State Capitol, not City Hall, is where that discussion can be had.  

Don’t buy the hype. Prop A would ONLY apply to the City of Lubbock Police Department. It does not stop Texas Tech Police, Lubbock County Sheriff, LISD Police, Frenship Police, UMC Police, or any other law enforcement agencies from enforcing the law. If you possess, you will be subject to arrest.  

Again, don’t buy the hype. Prop A is a state-wide effort by well-funded community organizers who are part of Ground Game Texas. This group, who calls themselves a progressive group to organize and mobilize with the goal of changing Texas “from the ground up.”   Make no mistake, Lubbock is just one notch on the post for Ground Game Texas. They have pushed this effort in Austin, Killeen, Denton, Harker Heights, San Antonio, and Dallas as well.   This is a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits all approach. It is not about Lubbock.    

Prop A handcuffs and defunds the Lubbock Police Department. It restricts the LPD from using every tool at their disposal to fight crime.   Not only that, it provides for disciplinary measures against officers who attempt to enforce state law. That will demoralize our police department, erode their confidence, take away their ability to use discretion in enforcement, and puts a target on the back of our the police department.  

CBD is derived from hemp. It is used for a variety of health issues, including pain relief, managing anxiety, and reducing inflammation. It is legal and Prop A wouldn’t change any of that.   But, don’t by the hype. CBD is not the same as marijuana. Marijuana produces psychoactive effects, the high sensation. It is illegal to purchase and possess in Texas. 

Prop A risks normalizing marijuana use among our youth, exposing them more to a criminal element which pushes the drug. Make no mistake, all marijuana addressed by Prop A would either be purchased or grown illegally, or transported across state lines in violation of federal law. There is no guarantee it isn’t laced with fentanyl. Don’t buy the hype, Prop A would put Lubbock youth at risk. 

The concern about marijuana being laced with fentanyl is a real one. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic drug and is actually much stronger than heroin and is responsible for a significant number of overdose deaths across the country.  

The best data regarding recreational marijuana use is from the State of Colorado, who legalized it in 2014.   Over the past 10 years, Colorado saw an increase in marijuana-related hospitalizations, ER visits, poison control calls, DUIs, and fatal crashes where the drivers tested positive for THC.   They also saw a spike in court filings where organized crime was linked to marijuana from 31 in 2012 to 119 in 2017.   The number of traffic deaths where a driver tested positive for any cannabinoid increased 140% from 55 in 2013 to 132 in 2019.   

No. Even Ground Game Texas, the group organizing these efforts across the state in their cookie-cutter fashion, admit legislation could only be passed at the state or federal level to accomplish this goal.   Rather, Prop A would defund the Lubbock Police Department from using their discretion to enforce state law, handcuff their ability to issue citations or make arrests for Class A or Class B misdemeanor marijuana possession, and create chaos and confusion in the public.   Don’t buy the hype. Prop A is not one step toward legalizing marijuana, it can’t do that. It is about exposing our youth and jeopardizing public safety. 

Read the Full Ordinance