This isn't decriminalization, and it definitely isn't legalization. What this is about, at least according to a statement in a news story from ABC7, is budget.

The city of Austin has passed a resolution making low-level marijuana offenses a low priority, and according to the news story, they are directing the police to not arrest people for possessing a small amount of marijuana.

A lot of this stems (no pun intended) from the legislation that has been passed legalizing hemp. Since then, there have been stories of police agencies stopping people for marijuana and it turns out to be hemp.

Also, thanks to the legislation the product must be tested to determine whether or not it is hemp or marijuana. This is something that no one was equipped to do at the local/state level, so time and money now go to sending samples off to get tested.

Money also goes to purchasing testing equipment.

From an outsider's standpoint, it sounds like a giant mess.

This is what the City of Austin points to when they passed this resolution. They want police focused on distributors and those with felony amounts of marijuana in their possession.

I don't know what the answer is, but until the current legislation gets sorted this is going to be a headache for everyone on both sides of the discussion.

Here's to hoping we get things figured out in 2020.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app