The recreational use of marijuana is being decriminalized across the country. But this liberalization is not taking place in Texas and students should not consider their campus, dormitory rooms, or cars as consequences-free places to smoke marijuana.
Under Texas law, the recreational use of marijuana is still illegal. Students can face marijuana convictions because marijuana in Texas, like federal law, is still a Schedule I controlled substance. The possession, sale, distribution, and production of marijuana for recreational use is a crime.
Marijuana possession penalties are among the most severe in the country. These offenses range from being a class C misdemeanor to a class a felony.
Possession of up to two ounces of marijuana is a class B misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 180 days imprisonment and a fine up to $2,000. Possession of up to four ounces is a class A misdemeanor which is punishable by up to one year imprisonment and a fine of $10,000.
Possession of larger quantities of marijuana and being convicted of possession with the intent to sell is a felony. The mandatory minimum sentence is five years. The maximum time of imprisonment is 99 years.
Decriminalized in some counties
Some Texas counties decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. Instead of imprisonment, these counties give tickets or require users to attend a four-hour educational program.
These are among the counties that decriminalized marijuana:
- Cedar Park
- El Paso
Medical marijuana is legal but heavily regulated. Qualifying patients may have access to one percent THC cannabis oil. The Texas Compassionate Use Act, enacted in 2015, legalized medical marijuana and permits patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy to use cannabis oil containing less than 0.5 percent THC.
Delta 8 THC
Hemp-derived delta 8 THC and CBD products are legal. But these products are restricted to 0.3 percent delta 9 THC. CBD products do not provide a high to users.
Hemp-derived delta 8 THC products provides a mild high. In small doses, delta 9 products act as a relaxant and may improve cognitive performance. Both products are restricted to 0.3 percent THC.
Marijuana Texas laws are complicated but severe. Attorneys can help assure that rights are protected.