Texas Considers Easing Up on Marijuana Laws
As several states have eased up on punishments for marijuana possession and expanded its legal use, Texas lawmakers are proposing changes to its marijuana laws that could decrease the number of criminal drug charges. Texas is known for having strict marijuana laws:
- Possessing any amount of marijuana weighing 2 oz. or less is a Class B misdemeanor, which can result in up to 180 days in prison and a $2,000 fine.
- Texas passed a 2015 law that gives medical patients access to use low-THC cannabis, but physicians can only prescribe it to patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy.
Lawmakers have presented more than a dozen marijuana-related bills in the Texas legislature, but two are getting the most attention. They are a long way from being voted on and will face opposition from conservatives in the legislature. However, advocates for marijuana law reform hope the bills will at least continue the conversation towards eventual changes.
Texas House Bill 81
This bill would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana:
- Possessing 1 oz. or less of marijuana would be a civil penalty of no more than $250.
- The penalty would not a conviction, and the offender could not be arrested for this violation alone.
- The penalty could be waived or reduced in favor of community service and substance abuse education programs.
- A person would need to possess more than an ounce of marijuana to be charged with a misdemeanor.
These changes would create the opportunity to be penalized for marijuana possession without it becoming a criminal charge that sticks on someone’s record.
Texas House Bill 2107
This bill would increase the number of patients eligible for medical marijuana and create a larger regulatory system for medical marijuana manufacturers and dispensers. The definition of medical marijuana would no longer be limited to low-THC products. The list of eligible medical conditions would greatly expand, including:
- HIV and AIDS
- Hepatitis C
- Crohn’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Sickle cell anemia
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Parkinson’s disease
- Muscular dystrophy
Patients who are prescribed medical marijuana would be issued a registry identification card to show to authorities. The changed law would also allow some patients to cultivate marijuana plants in their homes.
Facing Marijuana Charges
Until the laws have been changed, Texas remains an tough state to face marijuana possession charges. If you have been charged with any kind of drug possession, you need an experienced San Antonio, TX criminal defense attorney to represent you. Call the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock at 888-726-5625 for a free consultation.