Texas is known for its harsh enforcement against drug violations. While some states have made changes to lessen charges on marijuana and in some cases make it legal for recreational use, Texas has remained adamant on punishing nearly any signs of usage or possession of the drug. Depending on how much you allegedly carried and what the supposed intention was, you could be facing years in prison and owe thousands of dollars.
In recent years, Texas established the Compassionate Use Act to offer some leniency towards people who require marijuana for medical purposes. However, it has heavy limitations over what conditions apply. If you need medical marijuana for certain injuries or diseases, it is crucial to know whether the state allows you to possess it.
What does the Compassionate Use Act allow?
The Act only grants access to those diagnosed with intractable epilepsy to have medical marijuana prescriptions. In addition, they can only pursue the option after two FDA-approved drugs fail, they receive the prescription from two authorized doctors and are a permanent resident in Texas. There are currently only three organizations that can legally dispense medical marijuana in the state.
Even patients that receive prescriptions are not getting much. The dispensaries must sell it as cannabidiol oil with a 0.5 percentage of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), which is the main psychoactive ingredient in the substance.
What happens otherwise?
Ever since the Act’s passing in 2015 and the establishment of the dispensaries in 2017, there have been little to no changes to Texas’ stance on marijuana. The only advancement towards marijuana reform was when Dallas recently chose to make citations instead of arrests for those that possess less than 4 ounces of weed. Otherwise, any proposals legislators made to increase the accessibility of medical marijuana to victims of other diseases and disorders have been down.
If you are caught possessing marijuana for medical purposes but in violation of the Compassionate Use Act, then you can be charged for marijuana possession, regardless if its use was medicinal or not. This can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the amount you possess and what your intent was with it. This results in charges up to $50,000 and up to 99 years of imprisonment. If you face a potential marijuana conviction, it is important to explore all your legal options to minimize any lasting damages these charges could have on your life.