Bell County community leaders are holding a public forum to open the conversation about decriminalization of marijuana

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) – Two Central Texas communities are coming together Saturday to continue the conversation about the illegality of marijuana in their area. This comes after President Biden said he would pardon all federal convictions.

Proposition A would apply to Killeen and Harker Heights and would make it illegal to possess no more than 4 ounces of marijuana. Those found in possession of the herb will not face arrest or conviction. It’s a decision that will be in the hands of voters in less than a month, so local leaders on both sides will hold public talks to reach out to the public and answer their questions and concerns.

One of those familiar faces will be Louis Minor, the Democratic candidate for Bell County District 4. He will talk about why he thinks the plan fills a gap to prevent people from having their lives ruined. they found a small amount of marijuana. He also hopes to focus on the racial disparity of marijuana incarceration in our society.

“I did an open records request and found that 92% of the marijuana arrests in the city of Killeen are people of color,” Minor said.

Community advocate Melissa Brown, who will be part of another public conversation on the issue with voters in North Killeen, opposes the plan, saying it directly conflicts with our state laws.

“It says the officers can’t enforce the drug laws that are on the books in the state of Texas. They’re either being punished for doing what the city says they’re doing, or possibly because the state says they don’t have a license.” loses itself,” says Brown.

KWTX spoke with a retired Army colonel who says with Fort Hood near Killeen, that could have some consequences for the post.

“I don’t believe it’s a positive effort, and I would say that from that point of view, Fort Hood generates $28.9 billion in economic output in Texas. In the future, when the Department of Defense looks for places to locate new missions, new units or any potential redevelopment and base closures, they evaluate bases on many criteria and one of them is quality of life, and I don’t think this proposal will have a positive impact on that quality of life metric,” said Keith Sledd, CEO executive of the Texas Defense Alliance.

He adds that the Department of Defense may refuse to send resources to Fort Hood if they feel there is a low standard of living in the area, determined in part by the area surrounding the base.

These diverse perspectives will take center stage throughout the weekend, and city leaders hope to answer any questions you may have before heading to the polls.

Saturday’s event will be held at Lion’s Club Park Senior Center at 1 p.m. And the next day at the North Killeen Green Avenue playground at four o’clock in the afternoon, a similar conversation will take place.

Early voting began on October 24, and the election day is set for November 8.

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