Few areas of the law change more rapidly than marijuana statutes. This makes it difficult for many people to know just what the legality of possessing cannabis is in Texas at present.
With so much information on the news about states legalizing certain recreational substances, it is no wonder that confusion exists.
The current status in Texas
The Texas Tribune reports that in Texas hemp is legal and marijuana is not. Both of these substances come from cannabis and both look and smell alike, but under the law, there is a big difference.
In 2019, Texas lawmakers legalized hemp but not marijuana. The main difference between the two substances involves the level of THC present. In short, marijuana contains more THC than does hemp. Marijuana became illegal in 1931 and remains illegal in the state today.
State law allows prosecutors to bring criminal charges against recreational marijuana users. Penalties include fines of up to $1,000 and possible jail time.
The future of marijuana in Texas
The Dallas Observer reports that for the last few years a variety of legislators introduced bills to legalize recreational marijuana. So far, those efforts failed to make much headway. The prospect for future actions remains unknown, though observers expect some legislators to continue with decriminalization efforts.
One proposal under discussion would legalize possession of 2.5 ounces of cannabis for people 21 and older. This measure also allows adult Texans to maintain up to a dozen plants in a home.
Some proponents of marijuana reform believe that too many bills in the legislature work to dilute support. They suggest that a carefully crafted bill could gain enough support for passage in the future.