Is Cannabis Legal in Texas? Understanding State and Federal Laws

Is Cannabis Legal in Texas? Understanding State and Federal Laws

Cannabis, often referred to as “marihuana” in Texas statutes, is a topic of complex legal discussion in the state. Under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, as outlined in Chapter 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, cannabis is classified as a Schedule I substance, aligning with the federal Controlled Substances Act. This classification prohibits the possession and sale of cannabis in Texas, with penalties varying based on the amount possessed. Sections 481.120 and 481.121 specifically address the criminal offenses related to the delivery and possession of marijuana.

However, there are certain exemptions under Texas law for medical use. The Texas Compassionate Use Program (CUP) permits the legal use of low-THC marijuana, commonly referred to as “cannabis” in legal terminology, for patients with specific medical conditions. To participate in the CUP, patients must obtain a prescription from a physician registered with the program. There is no age limit for these prescriptions, making medical marijuana accessible to a broader range of patients in Texas. This program is governed by laws detailed in Chapter 169, which regulate the use and prescription of low-THC cannabis.

Despite state-level exemptions for medical use, federal guidance remains stringent. In 2018, the Department of Justice rescinded previous guidelines that were more lenient towards marijuana enforcement. This shift mandates U.S. Attorneys to strictly enforce the laws enacted by Congress regarding marijuana prohibition.

In addition to these regulations, Texas also designates certain herbicides as regulated, requiring additional restrictions to prevent hazards from drift or uncontrolled application. This includes restrictions on herbicides used in the cultivation of cannabis plants.

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For patients or their legal guardians possessing low-THC cannabis prescribed under a valid prescription from a Texas-licensed dispensing organization, Texas Health and Safety Code 481.111 (e) (1) offers an exemption from criminal offenses. However, it is crucial to note that these exemptions are strictly for those participating in the state’s medical program.

The increasing number of treatment admissions for marijuana abuse in Texas, as reported by TCADA, highlights the ongoing concern about marijuana use in the state. This rise in admissions underscores the need for continued awareness and regulation of cannabis use.

For more detailed information on cannabis and the law in Texas, explore the following resources:

TexasRecreational Use – Cannabis and the Law – Texas State Law Library
Texas Medical Marijuana | Texas.gov
Cannabis and the Law – Guides at Texas State Law Library
Is medical marijuana legal in Texas? – Frequently Asked Legal Questions
State vs. Federal Law – Cannabis and the Law – Guides at Texas State
Regulated Herbicides – Texas Agriculture
HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE CHAPTER 481. TEXAS CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT
Law Enforcement FAQs – Texas Department of Public Safety
Marijuana – Texas Drug Threat Assessment – United States Department of

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