Is Cannabis Legal in Texas? Understanding the State’s Marijuana Laws

Is Cannabis Legal in Texas? Understanding the State

In Texas, the legal landscape surrounding cannabis, commonly referred to as “marijuana” in state statutes, is governed by both state and federal laws. Under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, as detailed in the Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 481, cannabis is classified as a Schedule I substance. This classification indicates a high potential for abuse and no recognized medical use, aligning with the federal stance under the Controlled Substances Act.

In the realm of criminal law, Sections 481.120 and 481.121 of the Texas Health and Safety Code make the delivery and possession of marijuana a criminal offense. Notably, Texas law categorizes tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) in penalty group 2, which impacts the severity of criminal penalties for THC-related offenses.

While recreational use of marijuana remains illegal under both Texas and federal law, recent developments in other states, such as California’s decision to expunge approximately 9000 marijuana possession convictions following the legalization of recreational marijuana, highlight the evolving landscape of cannabis legislation.

The federal government’s approach to marijuana enforcement has also seen changes. In 2018, the Department of Justice rescinded a previous memo that offered guidance on federal marijuana enforcement policy, reinforcing the stance that U.S. Attorneys should enforce laws enacted by Congress.

However, Texas has made some allowances for the medical use of cannabis through its Compassionate Use Program (CUP). This program permits certain physicians to prescribe low-THC cannabis, specifically derived from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant, for medical purposes. Low-THC cannabis is defined as having no more than 0.5% THC by weight, and its legal consumption in Texas excludes smoking.

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The Texas Compassionate-Use Act and recent legislation such as H.R. 2 and House Bill 1325 further regulate the growth of hemp with a THC concentration of less than 0.3% by dry weight. Under Chapter 169 of the Texas Occupations Code, qualified physicians are allowed to prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients with specific medical conditions.

For more comprehensive information on Texas cannabis laws, the Texas State Law Library offers a range of resources and guides. These include FAQs, research guides, and specific sections on recreational use, state vs. federal law, and the Compassionate Use Program.

Cannabis and the Law Guide
Cannabis and the Law
Recreational Use
State vs. Federal Law
Texas Medical Marijuana
Find More Information
Compassionate Use Program

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