San Marcos City Council certified the signatures for an initiative to decriminalize marijuana at an Aug. 2 meeting and sent the measure to voters in November.

The petition, brought by Ground Game Texas and Mano Amiga—the two organizations that led the petition drive—submitted 10,624 signatures, of which 4,667 were deemed valid by her office.

According to city charter information provided by city staff, the council had 30 days to either pass the ordinance without amending it or call an election for the adoption of the initiated ordinance without amendments.

“You have the option of passing the ordinance exactly the way it is attached to the petition or putting out a ballot,” City Attorney Michael Cosentino said. “There's another alternative which gets even more complicated, which is to put the ordinance [from the petition] on the ballot and put your own different worded one on the ballot, and whichever one gets the most votes wins.”

Council Member Mark Gleason brought up the idea of council offering an alternative ordinance with a lower amount of what is considered low in the language of the ballot initiative brought by the petitioners.

The current language calls for the elimination of enforcement of state and federal law for those found in possession of 4 ounces or less of marijuana. Gleason called for an alternative ordinance to go to voters of 1 or 2 ounces, saying he spoke to many constituents who might find the original amount more than they would vote for.

“I’m trying to give the people that may vote no an alternative to get this through,” Gleason said.

Council Member Jude Prather wondered why not pass the ordinance now as a council rather than wait for the ballot in November.

Council Member Alyssa Garza said that strong support from the voters would be a clearer communication of the position of the community as a whole rather than council passing it.

“I think there needs to be that strong stance that can only come from it being on the ballot, right. Because even with a petition some folks are like, 'Well you know, with only 10,000 signatures.' ... But if we put it on the ballot then the people—everybody, not just the folks that you know, knock on doors, they’ll all have the opportunity to voice their opinion on the ballot,” Garza said.