DPD disregards public
The Denton Police Department put out a statement following the approval of Proposition B in November of 2022 stating, “As a forward-thinking agency, marijuana possession alone has not been a priority for the Denton Police Department for several years.” However, the 52 citations and/or arrests from November to mid-January for small possessions of marijuana tell a different story.
Proposition B sought to make marijuana possession the lowest of priorities for police and eliminate the use of smell as a justification for search and seizure. With an overwhelmingly positive response from the public the Proposition was passed with 71% on Nov. 8, 2022. Since the passage of Proposition B the Police Department has not enforced any of the points made in the ordinance. The so-called “forward-thinking” Police Department has ignored the requests of the citizens to start enforcing Proposition B and has instead continued to fill up their prisons with unnecessary arrests.
The proposition was written to conform to current law and allow the city to take the first steps in decriminalizing an already legal product in most of the United States. When law enforcement doesn’t listen to Denton City Council, there seems to be bigger issues at hand.
Should a non-elected official have the power to disregard the overwhelming voice of the public? I personally don’t think so.
In support of Prop B
As a member of the Denton community, I am writing this letter in support of the Denton vote on Proposition B which would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in our city. I believe this issue has plagued our community and has affected the United States as a whole.
Currently, possession of marijuana in any amount is a misdemeanor offense in Texas and this includes Denton and is punishable by not only fines, but also jail time. This approach is incredibly ineffective in reducing drug use and crime, but also heavily stunts low-income and minority communities.
Decriminalizing weed, among other things in Prop B, would reduce the burden on our local criminal justice system and free up resources and time to combat other issues and more serious crimes. It would also provide a path for people with minor drug offenses to avoid the lifelong consequences of a criminal record such as difficulty obtaining employment or housing.
Why we need sex ed
It has become increasingly important that we establish and implement elements of comprehensive sex education in our Denton public schools. With the rates of teen pregnancy soaring in Texas, we have no choice but to support the children of the city.
Although some may say that comprehensive sex education is “inappropriate content” that “encourages sexual activity,” this is farthest from the truth. Sex education makes children and teens wary of the consequences of sex that is unsafe or unprotected. As a result, teens are more likely to wait to participate in intercourse until they are able to participate responsibly.
Our children deserve protection from sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy, unhealthy relationships and misinformation. Educated decision-making is only possible when education is present. It is imperative that we do not let the rising rates of teen pregnancy and STD contraction be swept under the mat. It is high time our government submitted legislation that will protect our children.
Community’s best interest
I’m a student at the University of North Texas. As someone in a college community where marijuana use, for self-medicating, is frequent, I would like to write my case for the cannabis laws in Denton and Texas.
Since Greg Abbott came into office, Texas has passed the Compassionate Use Act in 2015, which has aimed to help those who self-medicate with CBD for things such as anxiety and epilepsy; however, it has limited the legal use to low-concentration oils, which is not effective enough to help most people self-medicating.
Along with this and the more recent law passed in 2019, hemp is now legal but cannabis at large still is not, creating confusion and arbitrary distinctions as to what is and is not illegal. As it stands now, despite cannabis somewhat being decriminalized, you will still face persecution for possessing it.
I believe that it would be in the community’s best interest to fully legalize cannabis. As it stands now, most voters in Texas are for legalizing cannabis in some capacity. Along with this, legalizing marijuana will allow the state to regulate the substance and reduce crime. Along with this, it will help those who self-medicate, especially veterans, as it will give them greater access to CBD. The Texas government should take all of these points into consideration and legalize cannabis, and employ regulations such as government-controlled dispensaries to reduce persecution relating to cannabis possession and usage.
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