In November 2022, San Marcos voters approved Proposition A, which ended low-level marijuana offense arrests in the city.

Now Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing San Marcos—along with Austin, Killeen, Elgin and Denton—for “adopting amnesty and nonprosecution policies that violate Texas laws concerning marijuana possession and distribution” according to a Jan. 31 news release from his office.

The backstory

Voters approved the ordinance with more than 80% of the vote. By November 2023, a report from the activist group Ground Game Texas showed from January-June 2023 an 85% reduction in marijuana possession citations and arrests when compared to January-June 2022.

During a March meeting of the San Marcos City Council, Police Chief Stan Standridge said arresting and charging individuals with marijuana possession still occurs if those arrests are in part due to other enhanced charges.

Current situation

According to Page 64 of the lawsuit filed, the attorney general seeks a temporary and permanent injunction on “this ordinance and any corresponding San Marcos Police Department general order or directive, constitute a policy under which San Marcos will not fully enforce laws relating to drugs, including Chapter 481. Chapter 481 makes possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia an offense.”

Eric Martinez, executive director of the activist group Mano Amiga, one of the organizations that collected signatures to get Proposition A on the ballot, said they welcome the lawsuit.

“Rather than viewing this legal challenge as a setback, we see it as an opportunity to shed light on issues that demand attention,” Martinez said in a news release from the organization.

In an email, city of San Marcos Communications Manager Nadine Bonewitz said the city does not have a comment to provide at this time on the matter.