The grassroots movement to decriminalize weed in Denton just got dealt a huge blow.
Ahead of Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the group Decriminalize Denton was cautiously optimistic that the council would vote to fully implement Proposition B, an ordinance that voters passed in November decriminalizing low-level marijuana offenses. Those hopes would soon evaporate.
Denton City Council decided against adopting the measure.
Nick Stevens with Decriminalize Denton told the Observer on Wednesday morning that he was “ashamed and disappointed” in council member Vicki Byrd, a former police officer who cast the pivotal vote.
“She has consistently said that democracy is what's most important, and in the last minute, she turned her back on us — on Denton,” he said.
More than 71% of Denton voters approved Prop B in November, yet some officials declined to implement the measure, arguing that it runs counter to state law. It’s a claim rejected by Prop B advocates who’ve pointed to cities like Austin that enjoy near-identical ordinances.
The dispute even led to an anti-Prop B incumbent City Council member getting recalled and defeated by a challenger in May.
Decriminalize Denton’s Deb Armintor, who’s also a former Denton City Council member, issued a scathing condemnation of Tuesday’s council decision.
“Last night’s vote was infuriating and devastating beyond words — another mockery of our democracy, another win for copaganda and the War on Drugs,” Armintor said via text on Wednesday.