Texas Marijuana Laws
Is marijuana legal in Texas? Well, Texas marijuana laws have historically been some of the harshest in the whole of the US, and this continues to be the case, as cannabis laws in Texas prohibit the majority of cannabis products and their usage. This guide will tell you all you need to know about Texas medical cannabis laws and the state’s views on recreational cannabis.
Is Marijuana Legal in Texas?
Let’s begin with the simplest question of all: is cannabis legal in Texas? At this time, no. Cannabis is illegal in Texas for both recreational and medical usage. However, there are some minor exceptions, as certain patients with qualifying conditions can make use of low-THC cannabis oil, with a doctor’s approval and recommendation.
Is Medical Marijuana Legal?
General usage of medical marijuana is not permitted in Texas. However, the state does have a very limited medical marijuana program that first came into place in 2015 and has gradually expanded over the years. This program allows certain patients to use cannabis oil with low levels (less than 1%) of THC.
In order to qualify for the Texas medical marijuana program, patients must receive approval from a specialized medical marijuana doctor and have been diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition.
Is Recreational Marijuana Legal?
No, the recreational usage of cannabis is entirely illegal in the state of Texas and can lead to severe punishments.
The History of Marijuana Laws in Texas
Texas marijuana laws have been very strict going back throughout history. In fact, the Texas city of El Paso was actually the first city in the whole of the US to ban cannabis, way back in 1915. At the time, the police force feared that cannabis’ influence was a major factor in high crime rates. The sale of cannabis was restricted a few years later, in 1919, and additional restrictions continued leading up to prohibition in 1931.
In 1973, things finally began to change for Texas marijuana laws with the introduction of House Bill 447. This bill reduced the punishments related to cannabis crimes, which had previously included potential life sentences for those caught in possession of cannabis in any amount. Years later, in 2007, a new bill was signed to allow law enforcement to cite and release those caught with small amounts (up to 4oz) of marijuana.
In 2015, State Representative David Simpson made an attempt to legalize cannabis for recreational use, but this was not accepted. However, that same use, limited medical usage of CBD oil was signed into law in the form of the Texas Compassionate Use Act. In the years since then, punishments regarding cannabis offenses have been softened further, hemp has been legalized, more patients have been given access to CBD oil, and the medical program was most recently expanded in the 2021 legislative session.
Texas Marijuana Laws
Next, we’ll focus on how Texas currently regards various cannabis-related offenses and activities, like the purchase of cannabis, possession of cannabis, and general consumption.
Possession & Purchase
It is illegal to have any amount of marijuana in your possession in the state of Texas. Small amounts of under 4oz can be charged as misdemeanors and result in up to a year in prison with a $4,000 fine, while larger amounts are felony crimes and carry longer sentences. The sale or distribution of cannabis can also be punished quite harshly, with very long possible sentences and large fines.
How Much Can I Buy and Possess?
It is illegal to buy or possess any amount of cannabis in Texas.
Where Can I Obtain Cannabis?
You cannot legally obtain cannabis anywhere in Texas, and this state has no official cannabis dispensaries. It is, however, possible to buy CBD oils in smoke and vape shops.
Who Can Legally Purchase Cannabis in Texas?
Nobody can legally purchase cannabis in the state of Texas. Only those with qualifying conditions may buy and use low-THC CBD oil.
Growing cannabis at home is also expressly forbidden according to Texas marijuana laws. Punishments can include large fines and long prison sentences.
Texas does not recognize the medical marijuana programs of other states, so you can’t go to Texas and expect to buy and use marijuana freely.
Texas marijuana law completely forbids any and all consumption of marijuana, both for recreation and medical purposes.
Where Can I Safely Consume Cannabis?
You cannot consume cannabis anywhere in this state.
According to the limited Texas medical marijuana program, certain residents may be eligible for CBD usage, provided they have a qualifying health condition. Examples of conditions that qualify for low-THC CBD oil usage include epilepsy and other disorders that cause seizures, along with MS, spasticity, ALS, autism, cancer, and incurable diseases affecting the brain or nervous system.
It is illegal to transport marijuana in the state of Texas.
It is illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana in Texas.
Expungement of weed-related offenses in Texas may be possible, with the aid of an attorney. This involves filing an expungement petition.
How to Obtain a Medical Card?
Even though it’s not possible to obtain medical marijuana in Texas, you can still get a Texas medical marijuana card for the usage of CBD. This involves providing confirmation from your physician that you suffer from a listed condition, as well as obtaining prescriptions from two separate doctors.
Overall, even though Texas’ marijuana laws have softened in recent years, the Lone Star State remains one of the harshest locations in the US in terms of potential punishments for cannabis offenses, and it’s also part of an increasingly small group of states that have very limited medical marijuana programs.