Texas Marijuana Possession Laws

Is Possession of Marijuana Legal in Texas?

In Texas, it is illegal to knowingly possess usable quantities of marijuana. Section 481.121. of the Texas Health and Safety Code stipulates that possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana is an offense punishable by law.

How Much Weed Is a Felony in Texas?

Texas Health and Safety Code stipulates that it is illegal to purchase, distribute, use, or cultivate marijuana. In Texas, it is a felony for an individual to intentionally possess more than four ounces of weed. However, the severity of penalties faced by the individual in possession of weed depends on the following factors:

  • The Amount of Substance in Possession: The severity of the penalty an individual faces on conviction for possession of weed depends on the quantity found on the individual. The Texas Health and Safety Code stipulates a jail time of 6 months to two years and a fine not exceeding $10,000 for possession of marijuana between four to five pounds. There is also a maximum sentence of five years to life imprisonment and a fine not exceeding $50,000 for possession of marijuana over 2,000 pounds.
  • The Age of the Offender: Getting caught in possession of marijuana is an offense with serious legal consequences, even if you are a minor in Texas. However, by using legal defenses, minors without previous convictions may avoid jail time. Unfortunately, adults in possession of marijuana face fines and imprisonment if convicted.
  • Location of the Offense: The location where the offender was caught with marijuana also influences the severity of the punishment. Section 481.134 deems some areas of Texas as drug-free zones, and possession of marijuana within these areas can attract stiffer penalties. Texas drug-free includes 1,000 feet of any property owned, leased, or rented by a public or private school or residential treatment center, video arcade facility, youth recreational centers, playground, and a school bus. Consequently, the minimum term for incarceration for possession of marijuana doubles within these drug-free zones. Also, certain counties such as El Paso and Plano have reduced penalties for possession of marijuana.

What Are the Penalties for 1st Time Offense of Possession of Weed in Texas?

First-time offenders for the possession of weed in Texas typically get more lenient punishment than repeat offenders or persons with a criminal history. Generally, the penalty for a first-time offense of marijuana possession depends on the amount found on the individual at the time of the arrest. First-time offenders may expect the following punishment:

  • Possession of weed 2 ounces or less: It is a misdemeanor with 180 days of jail time and a maximum fine of $2,000.
  • Possession of weed 2 ounces to four pounds: The penalty for this charge is one year in prison with a fine not exceeding $4,000.
  • Possession of weed four ounces to five pounds: A state jail felony charge punishable by six months to 2 years in prison and a fine not exceeding $10,000.
  • Possession of weed 5 pounds to 50 pounds: An individual in possession of marijuana of this quantity faces two to ten years in incarceration. There is also a maximum fine of $10,000.
  • Possession of weed above 50 pounds to 2,000 pounds: It attracts a minimum sentence of two years to a maximum sentence of 20 years incarceration. Offenders may also pay a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Possession of weed above 2,000 pounds: Persons found with marijuana exceeding 2,000 pounds get a minimum of five years to 99 years sentence and a fine not exceeding $50,000.

Where to Buy Legal Weed in Texas

Recreational use of marijuana by adults is illegal in Texas. Therefore, it is not possible to purchase weeds legally. However, certain medical conditions qualify for access to medical marijuana through the Texas Compassionate Use Program (CUP). Medical conditions that qualify for medical marijuana include epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, autism, terminal cancer, spasticity, multiple sclerosis, seizures disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Texans eligible for medical marijuana can obtain the drug legally using a prescription from a doctor registered to prescribe medical marijuana in Texas. The patient must obtain the drug from a dispensary licensed to issue medical marijuana. To access medical marijuana, patients must have a prescription file with the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas. The dispensing organization accesses the patient's record and dispenses the drug according to the medical prescription. 

How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy Weed in Texas

The purchase and consumption of weed are illegal for all ages in Texas. However, there is no age restriction for qualifying patients to purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary in Texas. Although, persons below 18 must be in the company of a parent, legal guardian, or caregiver to obtain medical cannabis.

Section 481.122. of the Texas Health and Safety Code stipulates that knowingly delivering marijuana to a minor is a felony punishable by incarceration of not less than two years but not greater than 20 years. In addition, the offender may pay a fine not exceeding $10,000.

How Much Weed Can You Carry in Texas?

It is illegal to possess weed of any quantity in Texas. In fact, possession of as little as 28 grams of weed or an ounce of weed can attract a maximum jail time of 180 days and a fine of up to $2,000. 

What Happens if You Get Caught With Weed Under 18 in Texas?

Minors caught with weed in Texas face legal penalties for possession of marijuana. The punishment for possession in Texas depends on the quantity of marijuana found on the minor at the time of the arrest. Generally, the following penalties apply for a minor caught with marijuana:

  • Minors found with less than two ounces of marijuana can face jail time up to 180 days and fines not exceeding $2,000. The jail time and fines increase for larger amounts of marijuana.
  • Driver's license suspended for at least six months.
  • The court can mandate community service.
  • Attend a drug rehabilitation program.

However, minors can reduce the severity of their punishment and avoid jail time through alternative sentencing programs. For instance, persons under 18 without prior conviction can enter a probation program while attending a drug treatment program instead of jail time. The minor undergoes regular drug testing throughout the period. On successful completion of the program, the minor exits probation and may qualify for expungement of their criminal record.

How Many Marijuana Plants Can You Have in Texas?

None. It is illegal for persons or households to plant, grow, or harvest marijuana in Texas. Texas laws consider the growing of marijuana as intentionally possessing marijuana in quantifiable amounts, which is punishable by jail time and fines.

Despite this restriction, persons growing marijuana for medical purposes can cultivate marijuana plants. Also, Texas law permits the possession and cultivation of marijuana by persons authorized for certain activities, including research or analysis of controlled substances. Authorized persons or persons cultivating marijuana for medical purposes must grow the drug within the approved site. Failure to follow established guidelines can lead to a charge of criminal possession of controlled substances.

How Much Weed Can You Fly With from Texas?

None. Individuals cannot fly outside Texas with marijuana. Firstly, it is illegal to possess weed of any quantity in Texas. Secondly, federal law governs the airspace, and under this law, transporting marijuana across state lines is illegal. Therefore any person flying outside of Texas with marijuana breaks both state and federal law. 

However, federal laws grant some concessions to persons using medical marijuana who present their state medical card. Such passengers may carry medical marijuana that contains less than 0.3 percent THC under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. 

Is It Illegal to Be High in Public in Texas?

No. There are no specific laws in Texas prohibiting an individual from being high in public, nor does being stoned in public equate to possession of marijuana. It may not be an offense to be high in public, but consuming marijuana, driving while impaired with marijuana, or disorderly conduct resulting from marijuana consumption is a crime in Texas. 

The Texas Penal code stipulates that an individual commits a criminal offense if the individual is under the influence of a toxic substance such as marijuana and operates a motor vehicle in public. The law lays down the penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana, including:

  • First Time Conviction: A jail sentence from 72 hours to 180 days and a fine not exceeding $2,000. Also, suspension of the driving license for three months to one year and community service up to 100 hours.
  • Second Time Conviction: Jail time from 72 hours to a year, a maximum fine of $4,000, suspension of driver’s license for six months to two years, and 80-200 hours of community service.
  • Repeat Convictions: A fine not exceeding $10,000, two to ten years incarceration, 160-600 hours of community service, and license suspension for six months to two years.

Disorderly conduct from marijuana intoxication is any action that breaches the peace, causes disturbance to the public, or infringes on another person's right or privacy. It is an offense punishable by a fine of up to $2000 plus incarceration of up to six months in county jail. 

It is illegal to consume marijuana and drive in Texas. Persons caught driving under the influence of marijuana may be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). Penalties include jail time, fines, license suspension, community service, DWI school, drug rehabilitation therapy, and vehicle impoundment.

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