Congratulations to the University of North Texas Students for Sensible Drug Policy (UNT SSDP) chapter and Decriminalize Denton for passing Denton Proposition B: the city’s first marijuana decriminalization ordinance! The initiative to eliminate low-level marijuana enforcement passed with an overwhelming majority at 71.6% of the votes. Tristan Seikel ’18, a UNT SSDP Alumnus and founder of Decriminalize Denton, shared his thoughts on the campaign victory:
“Decriminalize Denton really began as a campaign started by UNT SSDP to change our city’s outdated and racist cannabis laws. After years of fighting for cannabis decriminalization through advocacy to city council and not getting the results we wanted, we decided to pursue this policy change through a ballot initiative last spring. The current cohort at UNT SSDP played an incredibly large role in supporting our organization before Prop B, helping gather thousands of signatures to place Prop B on the ballot, and more recently, they were instrumental in canvassing Denton voters to encourage support for the ordinance. I am beyond proud of the work that we were able to accomplish by linking forces between Decriminalize Denton and UNT SSDP along with other key state, local, and regional allies!
As someone who has been directly impacted by cannabis possession laws in Denton, our victory in successfully passing Prop B by a record-breaking amount of voters means so much to me and all the other folks out there who have had their life upended over this city’s counterproductive cannabis policy. I am beyond delighted that such a high number of our community members agreed with our sensible approach to cannabis decriminalization and with their support, our goal is to ensure that each part of our ordinance gets fully enacted and we plan to also support other campaigns across the region and state who are looking to fight for this needed change at the local level. More than anything else, I hope the success of Prop B reminds people that real drug policy change can absolutely be achieved at the municipal level of government – we don’t need to wait on the state and federal government to start creating new policy that our communities desperately need.”