Cannabis is still illegal in Texas, but there is a growing movement to change that. Learn more about the current status of cannabis in Texas and what the future may hold.
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The Current Legal Status of Cannabis in Texas
Cannabis is currently illegal for recreational use in Texas. However, the state does have a medical program that allows certain patients to use low-THC cannabis products for specific medical conditions.
Possession of small amounts of cannabis (less than two ounces) is a misdemeanor offense in Texas, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Possession of larger amounts is a felony offense, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
sale or cultivation of cannabis is also a felony offense in Texas, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
The penalties for possession, sale, or cultivation of cannabis are increased if the offense takes place within 1,000 feet of a school or other designated Drug-Free Zone.
The History of Cannabis in Texas
The history of cannabis in Texas is a long and complicated one. The plant has been used by Native Americans for centuries, but it wasn’t until the early 1900s that it began to be widely used by the general population. In 1915, the Texas Legislature passed a law making it illegal to possess or sell cannabis, and in 1931, the legislature made it a felony to grow or sell the plant.
Cannabis remained illegal in Texas for nearly half a century, until the late 1970s when possession of small amounts of the plant was decriminalized. Since then, there have been a number of changes to the state’s cannabis laws, but overall possession remains a misdemeanor offense and sale of any amount is a felony.
In recent years, there has been increasing support for legalizing cannabis in Texas. In 2016, a group of lawmakers filed a bill that would have legalized possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for adults over 21, but the bill failed to make it out of committee. A similar bill was filed in 2017, but again failed to pass.
Support for legalization has continued to grow in 2018, with polls showing that around 60% of Texans now support legalizing cannabis for adult use. But so far no serious effort has been made to pass a legalization bill in the state legislature.
The Future of Cannabis in Texas
The future of cannabis in Texas is still very much up in the air. In 2019, the Texas Legislature failed to pass any laws reforming the state’s cannabis laws, despite growing public support for legalization. While there has been some progress made on allowing medical use of low-THC cannabis products, full legalization remains a long way off.
The issue is likely to be taken up again in the next legislative session, and it is possible that Texas could join the growing number of states that have legalized recreational use of cannabis. However, given the conservative nature of the state, it is also possible that no significant changes will be made to the laws in the near future.