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Dallas voters could decriminalize small amounts of marijuana

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by By Karen Brooks Harper, The – 2024-06-07 11:52:58

SUMMARY: Dallas voters may decide on decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana if the City Council approves a measure for the November ballot. Council member Chad West plans to propose the Dallas Freedom Act, backed by 50,000 petition signatures. The act aims to shift police focus from small marijuana possession to more serious crimes. This initiative mirrors efforts in other Texas cities despite resistance from state authorities, including Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. While the Texas House supports expanding medical marijuana, state-level legalization faces opposition. Council member Adam Bazaldua emphasizes addressing racial disparities in marijuana arrests. Ground Game Texas supports the amendment.

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The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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U.S Supreme Court rejects Texas-New Mexico water deal

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by By Alejandra Martinez and Berenice Garcia, The – 2024-06-21 15:46:48

SUMMARY: The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a Texas-New Mexico water management deal, ruling federal involvement is necessary. This ruling impacts a long-standing dispute over the Rio Grande water, governed by the 1938 Rio Grande Compact involving Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. Texas sued New Mexico in 2013, alleging groundwater mismanagement. The recent Supreme Court decision allows increased federal intervention in future interstate water disputes. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and international treaties with Mexico also factor into the complex water allocation issues. The ruling underscores the need for all parties, including the federal government, to agree on water management.

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Texas Medical Board adopts abortion guidance

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by By Eleanor Klibanoff, The – 2024-06-21 11:37:24

SUMMARY: The Texas Medical Board has issued new guidance on interpreting the state's abortion laws. The guidelines reduce paperwork but do not specify conditions under which abortions are legal. The Board, responding to concerns from doctors and others, removed a controversial provision about patient transfers. Board Chair Dr. Sherif Zaafran noted that some issues remain unaddressed and emphasized that the board lacks authority to fully resolve them. The guidance mainly details documentation requirements and asserts that doctors can act before a medical emergency becomes imminent. Despite some revisions, critics argue the guidance is still vague and may lead to legal challenges.

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The final guidance

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SCOTUS allows gun restrictions on domestic violence suspects

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by By William Melhado, The – 2024-06-21 09:37:13

SUMMARY: In an 8-1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that protective orders can bar those accused of domestic violence from owning firearms. The case involved Zackey Rahimi, a Texan who argued that restricting firearm access under a domestic violence order was unconstitutional. The ruling overturned a 5th U.S. Circuit Court decision which had favored Rahimi, emphasizing that such firearm laws are consistent with historical regulations preventing harm. Advocates stress that gun presence in domestic violence situations increases homicide risk by 500%. Domestic violence incidents and related homicides in Texas have surged, highlighting the ruling's significance.

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