Is Cannabis Legal in Texas? Understanding State and Federal Laws

Is Cannabis Legal in Texas? Understanding State and Federal Laws

Cannabis laws in Texas are complex, especially when considering both state and federal regulations. The Texas Controlled Substances Act, as outlined in the Texas State Law Library, prohibits the possession and sale of cannabis, which is classified as a Schedule I substance. Under Section 481.121 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, possession of marijuana is a criminal offense, with severity varying based on the amount possessed. Additionally, Section 481.122 makes the delivery of marijuana to individuals under 18 a criminal offense.

In contrast, medical marijuana use has a different legal standing. As per the Texas Medical Marijuana guidelines, low-THC cannabis can be prescribed under certain conditions. Patients must be permanent residents of Texas and have specific medical conditions. Qualified physicians registered with the Compassionate Use Program (CUP) can prescribe this cannabis, with no age limit for prescriptions.

Federal law, however, presents a different perspective. In 2018, the Department of Justice rescinded previous guidelines, emphasizing the enforcement of federal marijuana laws by U.S. Attorneys, as discussed in the State vs. Federal Law guide. This creates a conflict between state and federal policies on cannabis use.

The Texas Compassionate-Use Act and recent legislation (H.R. 2 and House Bill 1325) regulate the growth of hemp with THC concentrations of less than 0.3%. This Act, as detailed in the Compassionate Use Program, allows for the prescription of low-THC cannabis for certain medical conditions. Patients or their legal guardians are exempt from criminal offenses relating to possession of prescribed low-THC cannabis, as per Texas Health and Safety Code 481.111 (e) (1).

Finally, the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) plays a vital role in regulating medical marijuana use. CURT is accessible to law enforcement and dispensing organizations to verify patient eligibility, as mentioned in the Texas Department of Public Safety.

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In summary, while Texas law allows for the limited use of medical marijuana under specific conditions, recreational marijuana remains illegal. The conflict between state and federal law further complicates the legal landscape for cannabis use in Texas.

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