Marijuana / THC

Is marijuana illegal in Texas?

For the most part, the answer is yes, but Texas marijuana law has gotten much more complicated since 2019. It is important to note that as of the time of this writing, there are ongoing lawsuits to address certain areas of marijuana law in Texas, such as the criminality of Delta 8, or the odor of marijuana as probable cause to search a vehicle and contents. 

Recreational use of marijuana is illegal. Section 481.121 of the Texas Health and Safety Code criminalizes marijuana possession, while delivery of marijuana is criminalized by Section 481.120 of the code. It’s important to note that Texas law differentiates between the marijuana plant, and hashish or concentrates like THC oil of wax. 

What is the charge level for marijuana possession in Texas? 

Possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana is a Class “B” Misdemeanor. Possession of 2 to 4 ounces is a Class “A” Misdemeanor. Possession of 4 ounces to 5 pounds is a state jail felony. Possession of 5 to 50 pounds is a felony of the third degree. Possession of 50 to 2,000 pounds is a felony of the second degree, and possession of more than 2,000 pounds is a felony of the first degree. 

What is the charge level for THC possession in Texas?

THC oil or wax is criminalized under §481.116 – Penalty Group 2, of the Texas Health and Safety Code. Possession of less than one gram of THC is a state jail felony, possession of 1 to 4 grams is a felony of the third degree, possession of 4-400 grams is a second degree felony, and possession of more than 400 grams is a felony of the first degree. 

Did Texas legalize certain kinds of marijuana? 

In 2019, Texas lawmakers legalized hemp so long as it contains less than 0.3% THC content, but they didn’t give law enforcement or government laboratories the resources needed to scale up scientifically differentiating between legal and non-legal cannabis. The state needs the scientific test to tell the difference between legal and non-legal cannabis, because otherwise it looks the same, smells the same, and creates the same smoke. 

Testing for THC content is a very costly and laborious process. For most Texas counties, the cost of lab testing makes prosecuting misdemeanor possession of marijuana cases impractical.

Some jurisdictions are slowly starting to re-incorporate some testing capabilities, but enforcement regarding marijuana varies greatly depending on where you live. 

What is a pretrial diversion program for marijuana possession?

Many Texas counties have implemented pretrial diversion programs to deal with low-level marijuana and THC cases. Diversion programs come in many shapes and sizes, but they typically consist of a drug offender education program, community service, and monetary fees. Successfully completing a diversion program results in the case against you being dismissed. However, these diversion programs aren’t for everyone. They are time-consuming, and many counties require you to attend in-person activities. This can make it difficult to complete a diversion program if you’re not a resident of the county where you’re arrested. Make sure to discuss these diversion programs carefully with your lawyer. You want to make sure you can successfully complete the requirements. 

Is medical marijuana allowed in Texas?

Yes. Many eligible Texans suffering from severe medical conditions have access to medical marijuana through the Compassionate Use Program (CUP). This program is administered by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). 

The program allows certain physicians to prescribe low-level THC for medical purposes. The program is available to patients suffering from Epilepsy, Seizure disorders, Multiple sclerosis, Spasticity, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Autism, terminal cancer, and any incurable neurodegenerative disease. Rule 1.61 under Chapter 1 – Subchapter D the Texas Administrative Code contains a list of such diseases. 

What defenses are available in a possession of marijuana case?

It’s important to assert your constitutional rights and hold the government to its burden when defending a possession of marijuana case. The best defenses are tailored to the individual case. It’s possible that an officer’s actions violated your rights. The officer’s stop, detention, and search, must all be carefully scrutinized to ensure they were lawful.  It’s also possible that the government is simply not able to prove possession of the marijuana beyond all reasonable doubt. 

Can my driver’s license be suspended for a marijuana or THC charge in Texas?

Yes. Under Section 521.372 of the Texas Transportation Code, you could face a license suspension upon final conviction depending on your criminal history, and the exact offense of which you were convicted. Make sure to discuss any potential license implications with your attorney before accepting a plea agreement.