Explainer: A look at what is allowed under Prop A in Killeen

Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 6:09 PM CST
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Now that Proposition A, a voter-approved marijuana decriminalization ordinance, is law in Killeen, it’s important to know what’s acceptable and what’s not when it comes to possession of marijuana.

Killeen citizens voted during the November 8 election and the results were largely in favor of Prop A.

The proposition passed with a 69% approval rating.

That is until the council stepped in to examine it further.

“To answer their question, do they get to smoke weed in Killeen now without consequence, the answer is no,” said criminal attorney Kyle Watkins.

The most important thing to remember is that marijuana is not legal in Killeen, nor anywhere in Texas.

So, you may be asking what is Prop A?

Proposition A is the decriminalization of marijuana possession as long as it weighs in under four ounces, the equivalent of 112 grams.

“Residents, travelers that come through Killeen, no longer have to fear arrest. Arrest that will affect your employment opportunities, your education opportunities, your housing opportunities,” said Louie Minor, the commissioner-elect for precinct 4 in Bell County.

While Prop A eliminates arrests for possession under four ounces, unique situations do occur, and it’s still very possible to find yourself arrested for having it.

“When police initially make an arrest, they file a charge, but it’s the prosecutor that screens it and decides to charge the case or not,” said Watkins.

An arrest doesn’t equal a criminal record and you’re not officially charged until the district attorney’s office makes its decision.

“Four ounces is the threshold for misdemeanors and felonies. More than four ounces, or a quarter of a pound, becomes a felony level marijuana possession case,” said Watkins.

If you’re going to be in possession of marijuana, it’s also important to know what jurisdiction you fall under.

While Prop A is valid in Killeen, neighboring cities like Harker Heights and Belton do not uphold the ordinance.

If deemed in possession of marijuana somewhere that’s not Killeen, you will likely face misdemeanor charges.

“To demystify that and simplify it, they are still subject to arrest, they can be arrested and prosecuted for possession of marijuana in the city of Killeen. There’s no ordinance that can stop that,” said Watkins.

Most recently, section 22-83 which prohibited officers from using odor as probable cause for search and seizure has been removed from Prop A and will be revisited in three months.