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U.S. DEA Set to Redefine Marijuana's Legal Status

Close-up photo of a judge's gavel resting on a wooden table alongside a detailed marijuana leaf, symbolizing the legalization of cannabis.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is poised to reclassify marijuana to acknowledge its medical benefits and lower potential for abuse, a significant shift in American drug policy. While this doesn't legalize recreational marijuana nationwide or in various states, it signals a notable change that may influence other states to accept medical and recreational cannabis. However, Texas is unlikely to be one of them.

What does this mean for marijuana in Texas?

Texas has historically taken a hardline on marijuana with no signs of letting up. Even half a joint can get you 180 days in jail if convicted of a marijuana possession charge. While Texas marijuana laws may initially appear clear-cut, the evolving stance of the federal government on drug policies, coupled with the exceptions that Texas grants for medical marijuana usage and THC-related products, has led to significant confusion regarding the legal status of cannabis within the Lone Star State. At The Webb Firm, P.C., we have a deep knowledge of federal and state drug laws. Here's what you need to know about marijuana's legal status in Texas.

Is Texas a no-tolerance state for marijuana?

Texas is not a "no-tolerance" state in the sense that there may be some leniency or medical programs available. However, it's pretty close. Some cities and counties in Texas have implemented diversion programs or reduced penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Additionally, Texas has legalized the use of low-THC cannabis oil for certain medical conditions. However, state marijuana laws are strict, with harsh penalties compared to other states.

Limited exceptions for marijuana in Texas

Texas allows medical marijuana for various ailments under the state's Compassionate Use Program. The program allows certain physicians to prescribe low-THC cannabis products for medical purposes. The available medical marijuana products include tinctures, lozenges, and oils.

Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC products have been a way for people to get around the marijuana ban in Texas, but that path may soon close. Delta-8 THC is a variant of Delta-9 THC, the chemical most responsible for marijuana's high. Right now, hemp-derived delta-8 THC products containing far less than 1% THC are being sold in Texas. However, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has said banning these cannabinoid products is a priority for the 2024-2025 legislative session.

Texas has a marijuana ban

In Texas, marijuana possession is illegal in almost all situations and subject to harsh penalties statewide. However, enforcement of these penalties can vary significantly depending on the locality. Local laws in some places like Houston support a "cite-and-release" approach, where offenders might receive a ticket instead of being arrested for possession. Montgomery County is not a cite-and-release community. Possession of any usable amount of recreational marijuana in Montgomery County can lead to arrest and serious penalties.

It's also worth noting that:

  • Smoking cannabis is not approved for medical purposes in Texas.
  • Possession of THC vape pens and other cannabis products often leads to drug charges.
  • The THC content in medical marijuana is capped. Possession of more potent cannabis is not allowed - even for state-approved medical marijuana users.

Charged? Contact an experienced marijuana lawyer in Conroe, TX

Ultimately, the rescheduling of marijuana is not expected to have much of an impact in Texas, where the possession and recreational use of marijuana continue to be prohibited and prosecuted. No matter how the law may change, The Webb Firm, P.C. in Conroe remains committed to aggressively defending individuals facing marijuana charges. If you have been charged in Conroe or anywhere in Montgomery County, TX, contact us for a free consultation. We're ready to listen to what happened and explain how an experienced marijuana attorney can help.

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