KILLEEN, Texas (Dec. 7, 2022) – Killeen councilmembers approved an amendment to the marijuana enforcement ordinance, Proposition A, during the council meeting on Dec. 6.
Prop A eliminates low-level marijuana enforcement and Killeen citizens voted in favor of the initiative ordinance during the Nov. 8 Special Election.
Councilmembers canvassed the votes regarding Prop A on Nov. 22 and placed a moratorium on the ordinance until Dec. 6 to review and consider options. On Dec. 6, upon a motion by Councilwoman Jessica Gonzalez (District 1), council approved an amendment to the marijuana enforcement ordinance to remove section 22-83 and to bring the ordinance back for review in three months with statistical data from the Killeen Police Department. The motion carried 4-3.
Section 22-83, which prohibits the police department from considering the odor of marijuana as probable cause for any search and seizure, except in limited circumstances, was removed.
The ordinance, as amended, prohibits Killeen police officers from issuing citations or making arrests for Class A or B misdemeanor possession of marijuana offenses except in limited circumstances; prohibits Class C citations for drug paraphernalia in lieu of a possession of marijuana charge; prohibits the use of city funds or personnel to perform testing to confirm whether a substance meets the legal definition of marijuana except in limited circumstances; requires that Killeen police officers receive training on the ordinance; requires that policies and procedures be updated in accordance with the ordinance; requires regular open meetings with stakeholders to discuss practices related to the ordinance; provides that a violation of the ordinance may subject a Killeen police officer to discipline; and requires a report within three months of adoption of the ordinance and annually thereafter to be submitted to City Council concerning implementation of the ordinance.
When Prop A was first introduced to council, the Texas constitution was discussed, informing members of the Texas Local Government Code §370.003 which states, “The governing body of a municipality, the commissioners court of a county, or a sheriff, municipal police department, municipal attorney, county attorney, district attorney, or a criminal district attorney may not adopt a policy under which the entity will not fully enforce laws relating to drugs, including Chapters 481 and 483, Health & Safety Code, and federal law.” Councilmembers have cited this in their discussions regarding their decisions.
To view the full City Council workshop and meeting, please visit www.KilleenTexas.gov/CouncilMeetings.