Weed. Flower. Green. Reefer. Mary Jane. Skunk. No matter what it is called, people across Texas wonder if and when marijuana will become legal in the state. Texas remains the largest state in the country that prohibits recreational marijuana possession. The Lone Star State has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the entire United States. Regardless of whether an adult wants to use marijuana recreationally or for medical purposes, it is important to know Texas law.
A large percentage of states across the nation have legalized marijuana for recreational use, medical use, or both. So, is marijuana legal in Texas? The short answer is no, with some exceptions. In the state of Texas, recreational use of marijuana remains illegal, while medical marijuana use is legal but heavily regulated. The state does have a compassionate use program for medical marijuana that has been continuously expanded since it started in 2015. The Texas Compassionate Use Program first allowed the legal use of low-THC concentration cannabis products for patients in Texas with intractable epilepsy, but now is applicable for other conditions besides epilepsy.
During his reelection campaign, Texas Governor Greg Abbott struck a somewhat moderate tone when asked about legal marijuana access, suggesting that he was open to discuss further legalization efforts. Gov. Abbott signed a bill into law during the state’s 2021 legislative session that expanded Texas’ medical marijuana usage for compassionate use, adding to the list of eligible conditions that many Texans suffer from things including PTSD, cancer, and many others. Patients with any of the eligible conditions are now allowed under the law to obtain a medical marijuana license to purchase, possess, and use the drug to treat their illnesses. Although this was considered a major positive step by many across the state, there are still concerns that the strict regulation makes it difficult even for licensed users to access the drug legally.
Besides passing into law the Compassionate Use Act (2015) to create the state’s official medical marijuana program, other efforts to expand access to marijuana have failed to clear key legislative hurdle. Many attempts have been made, but a new law has not landed on the governor’s desk. For instance, there was a bill written that called for decreasing criminal penalties for the possession of marijuana products which passed in the Texas House but died later in committee, leaving the penalties the same.
Marijuana laws have changed much faster in other states, but as of now, Texas marijuana laws are firmly in place and have harsh penalties. The use, possession, sale, distribution, production, and the cultivation and growing of marijuana are targeted in the law, with penalties ranging from class B misdemeanors to 1st degree felonies. In some Texas counties (e.g., Harris County), local authorities have essentially decriminalized the simple use and possession of marijuana by refusing to prosecute cases involving less than 4 ounces. Most counties in the state have not followed suit to decriminalize.
“Penalties for marijuana use, possession, and sale fall under penalty group 2 of the Texas Controlled Substances Act, which can range from 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine to life imprisonment and a $50,000 fine. Growing weed is also illegal, and punishments are similar to possessing, using, and selling marijuana.”
~ from CBD Oracle
Federal and Texas state laws relating to marijuana are regularly discussed and debated. As policy reform efforts continue in Texas, citizens must be aware of marijuana laws and the impact of those laws on individuals who are involved with the drug. If you or a loved one is charged with a marijuana-related crime in Houston, Texas, and the surrounding area you should seek legal assistance from an experienced legal professional like Collin Evans Law. For assistance fighting charges for a marijuana-related offense in Houston, Texas, or the surrounding area, reach out to Collin Evans Law, an attorney with an in-depth understanding of the marijuana laws. With over a decade of experience handling marijuana cases, attorney Collin Evans has the skill and expertise to help you. Contact Collin Evans today.