The Austin city council met Thursday and passed agenda item 59, a proposal that would eliminate low-level marijuana cases.

The city council in Austin passed the proposal unanimously, and is asking the APD to stop citing and arresting those in possession of small amounts of marijuana. City funds for testing to determine THC levels in cannabis plants will be reserved for high-priority felonies or violent trafficking offenses.

Hemp was legalized in Texas last year, and defined as a cannabis plant with less than 0.3% of THC. Following the legalization of hemp, misdemeanor marijuana cases across the state dropped by more than half, largely in part because of the inability of Texas labs to test for THC content.

The war on drugs has directly impacted the lives of people of color more than any other demographic. With the passing of item 59, time and resources of the city can be re-prioritized to fit the needs of the community.

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