When Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1325 into law on June 10, he placed police officials and prosecutors in the state in a difficult position. The law legalizes hemp cultivation in Texas, but it does not apply to marijuana. This is a problem for law enforcement and the criminal justice system because the Lone Star State's crime laboratories are not currently able to measure THC concentrations, which is necessary to tell the difference between legal hemp and illegal marijuana.
Law enforcement officers including Texas Rangers took part in a search of the Wichita Falls deputy city manager's home that led to the seizure of undisclosed amounts of marijuana and evidence that the drug was being cultivated on the property. Media reports reveal that the man tendered his resignation after learning about the May 28 search of his Wendover Street residence. Wichita County District Attorney's Office investigators also took part in the multi-agency operation.
On April 18, a federal grand jury in Texas indicted seven men for their alleged roles in a drug trafficking ring. The defendants are reportedly members of the East Side Bloods street gang.
Hip-hop fans in Texas may be aware that the 27-year-old rapper Jeffery Lamar Williams, who is better known by his stage name Young Thug, was charged with narcotics and weapons offenses on Oct. 17 following a routine traffic stop. Police in Georgia say that they discovered a large amount of cash, two firearms and drugs including Xanax, marijuana, ecstasy and codeine in the controversial rapper's Mercedes-Benz Maybach sedan.
A Texas man is facing multiple charges after authorities allegedly found 30 pounds of methamphetamine in his vehicle during a traffic stop on Feb. 20. The charges were filed in Lyon County District Court in Kansas on Feb. 25.
Two Texas men are facing felony marijuana possession charges after the Galveston County Sheriff's Office discovered what it is calling a high-grade marijuana growing operation in a San Leon home. The house was raided and searched on Nov. 28 by GCSO deputies and members of the agency's Identification Division and Tactical Response Team. The two men, who are 34 and 43 years old according to reports, were both taken into custody at the scene.
Two Texas men are facing felony drug charges after getting arrested at a traffic stop in La Porte. According to La Porte police, the two men were found to have 17 grams of methamphetamine in the car when they were stopped by police on Oct. 26. Police say that when they pulled over the vehicle, they heard or saw something that gave them probable cause to search the vehicle. After police brought a drug dog to the car, they found 1.7 grams of meth that belonged to the driver, a 36-year-old man.
A Texas man is now facing drug charges after a bag of meth held together with duct tape was found in his car door by police during a traffic stop. The 45-year-old man was driving on I-35 in Waco on Oct. 9 when he was pulled over. McLennan County Sheriff's deputies said that the man was following another car too closely in traffic at 5:55 p.m.
Even as people in Texas and across the country have increasingly exhibited their disapproval of marijuana possession arrests with a growing number of states opting for full legalization, marijuana arrests are on the rise. Approximately every 48 seconds, someone is arrested on marijuana charges across the United States. Contrary to what some may expect, the vast majority of these arrests do not involve sales, distribution or production of cannabis. Instead, most people being arrested are charged with possession. In 2017, 599,282 people were arrested for marijuana possession, an increase from 587,516 in 2016.
Law enforcement officers in Texas raided a residence as part of an investigation to target alleged drug suppliers. The raid reportedly resulted in the seizure of 6.5 pounds of marijuana, an undetermined amount of Xanax, 198 doses of THC and approximately $7,000. The drugs are estimated to have a street value of $33,000.