The laws for marijuana use have changed at a rapid pace in the United States, especially in recent years. This has left people confused about what is and isn’t legal in different parts of the country. The attitudes toward marijuana use has changed quite a bit throughout many parts of the country, but Texas has gone its own way. Many states have allowed for the medical use of marijuana, has decriminalized petty offenses, and has even legalized recreational use. Texas, on the other hand, continues to impose severe penalties for marijuana use, but it did pass a very restrictive medical cannabis law that allows for the limited use of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil.
In the State of Texas, possessing even a small amount of marijuana can result in jail time. Anything less than two ounces can lead to jail time of up to 180 days and a fine of up to $2,000. But if you’re caught carrying concentrates (such as hash oil), you’ll be charged with a felony and can lead to prison time of up to two years. While there have been some more progressive proposals with regard to marijuana legislation, only one bill has allowed for the limited use of low-THC cannabis products. And Texas lawmakers have legalized the commercial production of hemp.
Recreational Marijuana Laws in the State of Texas
It’s a crime in the State of Texas to possess marijuana for recreational use. If you’re caught with up to four ounces of pot, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor. This could lead to a fine of up to $4,000 and a year in jail. Being caught with more than four ounces is a felony, which can lead to at least 180 days and up to 99 years in prison and a fine of $10,000 – $50,000 (depending on the amount). There have been efforts in the Texas legislature to decriminalize marijuana, but nothing has passed. Possession of pot will result in prosecution, including the mandatory minimum sentence for the possession and sale of large amounts.
The drug penalties in the State of Texas depend on three factors:
- The amount of the substance you have in your possession.
- The type of substance in your possession.
- Whether you were in the presence of minors when you were caught.
The penalties for marijuana possession in the State of Texas include:
- Under 2 ounces: Class B misdemeanor.
- 4 ounces to 5 pounds: State jail felony.
- 5-50 pounds: 3rd degree felony.
- 50-2,000 pounds: 2nd degree felony.
- Over 2,000 pounds: Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institution for life or 5-99 years and a $50,000 fine.
The penalties for the sale of marijuana in the State of Texas include:
- 0.25 ounces or less: Class B misdemeanor (with no renumeration).
- 0.25 ounces or less: Class A misdemeanor (with renumeration).
- 0.25 ounces to 5 pounds: State jail felony.
- 5-50 pounds: 2nd degree felony.
- 50-2,000 pounds: 1st degree felony.
- Over 2,000 pounds: Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institution for life or 10-99 years and/or a fine of $100,000.
If you deliver over 0.25 ounces of marijuana to a minor under the age of 17 who is currently in school, you’ll be charged with a second-degree felony. And if you’re in a drug-free zone, the penalties will be doubled.
Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Texas
While there has been some legislative support for the medical use of marijuana in the State of Texas, no comprehensive law has been put into place. But the state did pass a low-THC cannabis oil bill. Patients who qualify need to get a prescription from two certified specialists before they can be legally allowed to use cannabis oil with up to 0.5% THC. While the law has been put into effect, many people are skeptical about whether it be successfully implemented. While doctors can “prescribe” patients, few of them are willing to do it because prescribing a Schedule I Controlled Substance could put their DEA license at risk.
When the law was first passed, it only applied to the treatment of intractable epilepsy. But last year, Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill that expanded it to the following conditions:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Huntington’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Terminal Cancer
Hemp-based CBD products are legal under Federal Law, but state laws may vary. Feel free to speak to someone at Gale Law Group for more information. We’re a criminal defense lawyer in Corpus Christi that will fight for you. So if you’re facing a marijuana charge, be sure to reach out to us.