Lockhart advocates one step closer to decriminalizing low-level marijuana possession

Marijuana policy was at the center of multiple discussions taking place across Central Texas on Wednesday. Further regulation of Delta-8 and Delta-9 was listed on Wednesday’s agenda for the Senate Committee on State Affairs. 

Meanwhile, a celebration was underway in Lockhart, as advocates moved a step closer to decriminalizing low-level marijuana possession.

More than 900 signatures in support of the Lockhart Freedom Act were delivered to City Hall. The goal is to get the proposition on the November ballot. 

"This is not just a matter of personal preference or ideology," said Venessa Gutierrez, vice chair of the Caldwell County Democratic Party. "It's about acknowledging the realities of our society and implementing policies that reflect both compassion and pragmatism."

Ground Game Texas and Mano Amiga are leading the latest effort to decriminalize low-level marijuana possession. Both organizations have also been responsible for getting similar policies passed in other Texas cities, including San Marcos and Austin in 2022. Signature-gathering efforts are also currently underway in Dallas.

"We just see that there is a need for more of this local organizing all around, because there isn't a lot of infrastructure. There isn't a lot of mobilization in these communities," said Catina Voellinger, executive director of Ground Game Texas. "And people are unaware of what they can do individually as a person in their own city and what power they actually have."

In January, State Attorney General Ken Paxton sued five Texas cities in total for passing these kinds of policies.


"The legislature passes every law after a full debate on the issues, and we don’t allow cities the ability to create anarchy by picking and choosing the laws they enforce," a statement from the attorney general said in part.

In Lockhart, the city charter requires signatures from at least 10% of qualified voters to get a proposition on the ballot.

Once signatures are certified, city council members can decide to adopt the proposition outright or send it to the November ballot. 

"Marijuana prohibition is one of America's most tragically failed social policies," said Elle Cross, campaign director for Mano Amiga Responsible Implementation. "I have met far too many people whose lives have been completely turned over because of a marijuana arrest, when they were hurting no one and just enjoying something that is legal in most of America and has been proven to have medicinal benefits."