Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Five Cities

( – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing five cities in his state for passing policies to prevent enforcement against marijuana offenses. The conservative official is fighting back against local leaders who are attempting to undermine the law, stating that cities choosing to ignore certain statutes only leads to “anarchy.”

Paxton issued a news release on January 31 to share that he is suing Austin, Denton, Elgin, Killeen, and San Marcos for choosing not to pursue marijuana violations. He alleges that the illegal substance has possible connections to psychosis and other harmful consequences, and he is taking issue with any local leader who is willing to put Texans at risk.

He explains that state law strictly forbids any lax enforcement policies that pertain to drugs, adding that it’s against the Texas constitution for municipalities to follow ordinances that don’t follow the state’s legislature.

The state’s statutes are in place to protect citizens from drugs, violence, and crime, writes Paxton. He believes the cities exercising “discretion” in prosecuting marijuana-related crimes are helping to grow “a deadly national crimewave[sic].”

CBS Austin reports that the pro-marijuana ordinances were voted in by the people on ballot propositions. They bar police from issuing citations or arresting citizens for misdemeanor marijuana violations. The lawsuits seek to block the city ordinances, order cities to repeal them, and resume enforcement of all state drug laws.

NORML shares that anyone caught in Texas with two ounces or less of marijuana flower faces a Class B misdemeanor, which can land offenders behind bars for up to 180 days and force them to pay a $2,000 fine. Between two and four ounces is a Class A misdemeanor with punishments that can include up to a year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $4,000. NORML claims that all major parties in the state support changes to current cannabis laws, insisting that some leaders are attempting to impose their personal beliefs over the will of the voters.

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