Texas Marijuana Limitations

What Happens if I am Under 21 and Caught Carrying or Using Cannabis?

Because of the legal status of cannabis in Texas, many Texans ask, "how much cannabis can I legally have?" Possession of cannabis in Texas is a grave offense regardless of the offender's age. Persons under 21 years caught and charged with marijuana-related crimes may face considerable legal consequences. Typically, first-time marijuana offenders in Texas who are charged with simple possession risk conviction in a Class B misdemeanor charge. They face up to 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000. Also, persons caught with between 4 ounces and 5 pounds of marijuana face harsher penalties. These punishments may include a maximum fine of $10,000, conviction on a state jail felony charge, and state imprisonment between 180 days and two years. If an under-21 is caught possessing between 5 pounds and 50 pounds of cannabis, such is a third-degree felony. The offender risks a fine of up to $10,000 and may face a state jail time of between two to ten years.

However, persons under 21 with marijuana-related offenses in Texas may benefit from a legal system with some leniency and reduce the severity of potential penalties. They may avoid jail time, especially if there are no previous drug convictions. In Texas, first-time offenders under 18 years may be required to participate in drug diversion programs instead of having them serve jail time. They are usually placed on probation and regularly tested for the presence of drugs in their system during this mandatory treatment program. After the drug treatment program, they are freed from probation and may be eligible to have their conviction expunged from their records.

Where is it Legal to Smoke Weed in Texas?

The Texas Compassionate-Use Act does not stipulate any restrictions on where a medical patient can legally use low-THC cannabis. However, current weed laws in the state specify that it is illegal to smoke weed in any form. Besides, smoking does not meet the medical use requirements as described by Texas Occupations Code Section 169.001. Many curious Texans ask, "where can I smoke weed?" Generally, smoking weed in public is illegal, and users are advised against doing such. If they must smoke weed at all, they can do so in their private residences. Public places include eateries, parks, bars, banks, sporting events, and concerts. Federal law equally prohibits smoking or carrying weed on federal government properties in Texas. Anyone who does so commits a federal offense and risks harsh penalties.

Again, some Texans ask, "can I carry cannabis around with me?" It is an offense to possess even a tiny amount of cannabis in Texas. Offenders can get themselves into jail for doing such. A person caught carrying less than 2 ounces of marijuana is liable to up to 180 days in prison and a maximum fine of $2,000. Texas dishes out harsher punishments for carrying concentrates such as hash oil. Such an offense a felony, and offenders could face up to two years in state prison.

Can I Leave Texas with Cannabis?

No. Cannabis is categorized by federal law under the Controlled Substances Act as a Scheduled I drug. Besides the fact that marijuana possession is illegal in Texas, it is an offense to leave the state for other jurisdictions with marijuana even if already legalized in the destination state. Travel between states falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Hence, all activities happening across state lines are subject to federal laws. A medical marijuana prescription in Texas does not provide a defense to leaving the state to other places with marijuana.

Even though medical marijuana is beneficial to users, patients cannot carry it from Texas to other states because marijuana is still illegal under federal law. A person who tries to pass through security or board a flight with medical marijuana could be arrested even if a physician legally prescribed it. Generally, anyone caught leaving Texas with marijuana can face federal criminal charges. Federal penalties for marijuana depend on a couple of things. These include:

  • The amount of marijuana involved
  • Prior criminal record
  • If any other controlled substances are involved
  • Proof of cultivation, sale, or distribution

Federal cannabis possession charges involving a small amount of medical marijuana are considered misdemeanors for a first offense. Offenders may pay a fine of up to $1,000 and spend up to one year jail time. Possession of a higher amount is treated as a felony, and offenders risk at least five years in federal prison and a minimum fine of $250,000. These penalties also apply to traveling with medical marijuana across state lines.

Will Cannabis Affect My Driving Record in Texas?

While the possession of cannabis cannot affect a person's driving record in Texas, a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) will. Under Texas laws, driving under the influence of marijuana is a crime. Per Texas Penal Code Ann. § 49.04, a driver commits driving under the influence (DUI) violation if they are intoxicated when operating a motor vehicle in public. Such a driver may miscalculate distances between vehicles or fail to use the brakes in time. A person who takes excessive marijuana before operating a motor vehicle can lose control of the vehicle and harm other road users. The penalties accompanying the DUI of marijuana in Texas include license suspension, jail time, fines payment, community service, and vehicle impoundment. These punishments appear on a person's driving record and may have some future impacts.

Can I Get a DUI if I Drive While I am High?

Yes. However, CBD oil used for medical purposes in Texas will not get users high. Generally, CBD oils made from hemp have significantly low THC levels, while those derived from a whole marijuana plant may contain higher levels of THC. Although there are currently no reliable methods to determine marijuana intoxication in Texas, a person can get a DUI for operating a motor vehicle while high.

Texas Penal Code Ann. § 49.04 stipulates that a person can be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) if they do not have the normal use of their physical or mental faculties because of marijuana. There is no Texas law stating that any level of marijuana is per se illegal or causes impairment. However, per Texas Penal Code Ann. § 49.01, any amount of marijuana found by law enforcement in a person's test specimen in the state is used to try to prove they were driving under the influence, especially considering the illegal status of marijuana.

Some of the effects marijuana has on a person are drowsiness, image distortion, disorientation, altered time and space perception, euphoria, and increased heart rate. Generally, these can impact a person's driving abilities and impair motor coordination, judgment, and response time. Since cannabis is illegal in Texas, the grounds for charging a person with a DWI by marijuana are not the same as alcohol. Typically, law enforcement arrests a person on suspicion of DWI because they appear impaired. The suspect's blood sample is obtained to determine whether they are under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances. Law enforcement will charge a suspect with DWI by marijuana if the test detects any trace of THC.

The penalties for a DWI conviction in Texas include:

First Offense

  • Between 3 to 180 days jail time
  • Up to $2,000 fine
  • Between 90 days and one year of license suspension

Second Offense

  • Between 30 days to one-year imprisonment
  • Up to $4,000 fine
  • Between 180 days and two years of driver's license suspension

Third and Subsequent Offenses

  • Between 2 to 10 years of incarceration
  • Up to $10,000 fine
  • Between 180 days and two years of driver's license suspension

Additional penalties for DWI convictions in Texas include DWI school, community service, vehicle impoundment, and drug rehabilitation.

Can I Buy Medical Marijuana in Texas?

To qualify to obtain medical marijuana in Texas, a person must be a permanent resident of the state as stipulated by the Compassionate Use Act. Such a person must also be suffering from one of the qualifying medical conditions. Also, the Compassionate Use Act states that medical marijuana must be prescribed by registered physicians rather than recommended.

To get prescriptions for medical marijuana in Texas, a certified physician must first determine that the risk of using low-THC marijuana is moderate relative to the potential gain. Afterward, a second qualified physician must review the first physician's assessment and concur with such an appraisal. In addition, prospective patients for medical cannabis in Texas must have tested at least two other drugs without getting desired results before obtaining medical marijuana prescriptions. If a qualified physician determines that a patient can benefit from the medical marijuana program, they will register such a patient on the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT). However, only physicians registered with the CURT can write prescriptions for approved patients. Medical patients can visit any specially licensed pharmacy dispensary to get cannabis. They will need to provide their last name, date of birth, photo identification, and the last five digits of the social security number to purchase medical marijuana.

Where Can I Buy Medical Marijuana in Texas?

Many Texans ask, "Where can I buy cannabis?" Generally, getting medical cannabis in Texas is a bit complicated considering its legal status in the state. One is not going to see it on the roadside like many states that have legalized marijuana. Interested and qualified persons can only get medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries in the state. These dispensaries may only sell medical cannabis in the form of cannabidiol (CDB) oil. Also, only licensed dispensaries may grow it to process it into the specified low-THC oil. Currently, licensed dispensaries in Texas can only sell low-THC cannabis that must contain 0.5% THC or less and no less than 10% CBD.

Texas presently has three licensed dispensing organizations. These are Fluent (formerly Consortium Texas) with contact email adam@knoxmedical.com, Compassionate Cultivation with contact email morris.denton@texasoriginal.com, and Surterra Texas LLC (doing business as "goodblend") with the contact email mruark@goodblend.com.

How Much is Medical Marijuana in Texas?

Medical marijuana is sold in concentrate forms, including oils and hash products. Typically, concentrates are more potent than buds and are sold in half-gram and gram quantities. Concentrates cost $20 to $60 per gram, generally. Dispensaries sell tinctures (concentrated liquid medical marijuana) in one-ounce bottles for between $15 and $50, depending on strength.

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is one of the most popular items in the medical marijuana space. The cost of a 1-ounce bottle of CBD oil anywhere ranges between $30 to more than $200. The process of extracting CBD oil is expensive, and its potency can vastly affect the price. Furthermore, factors such as whether or not the CBD oil is a full-spectrum CBD oil, if it was extracted from organic hemp plants, or if it is an organic CBD oil go a long way in determining CBD oil cost.

How Much Cannabis Can I Legally Have?

Currently, Texas law allows qualified medical patients to use cannabis oil with at most 0.5% THC. However, registered physicians must prescribe medical cannabis rather than recommend patients. The cultivation of marijuana in Texas for personal or medical use is still illegal. Note that the possession of any quantity of cannabis for recreational purposes in the state is a criminal offense punishable by fines and jail time.

Where is Weed Legal?

State Legal Status Medicinal Recreational
Alabama Criminalized No No
Alaska Decriminalized Yes Yes
Arizona Decriminalized Yes Yes
Arkansas Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Colorado Decriminalized Yes Yes
Connecticut Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Delaware Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
District of Columbia Decriminalized Yes Yes
Florida Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Georgia Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Hawaii Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Idaho Decriminalized No No
Illinois Decriminalized Yes Yes
Indiana Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Iowa Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Kansas Decriminalized No No
Kentucky Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Louisiana Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Maine Decriminalized Yes Yes
Maryland Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Massachusetts Decriminalized Yes Yes
Michigan Decriminalized Yes Yes
Minnesota Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Mississippi Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Missouri Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Montana Decriminalized Yes Yes
Nebraska Decriminalized No Yes
Nevada Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Hampshire Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Jersey Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Mexico Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
New York Decriminalized Yes Yes
North Carolina Decriminalized No Yes
North Dakota Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Ohio Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Oklahoma Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Oregon Decriminalized Yes Yes
Pennsylvania Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Rhode Island Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
South Carolina Decriminalized No No
South Dakota Decriminalized Yes Yes
Tennessee Decriminalized No No
Texas Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Utah Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Vermont Decriminalized Yes Yes
Virginia Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil Yes
Washington Decriminalized Yes Yes
West Virginia Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Wisconsin Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Wyoming Decriminalized No No
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Texas Marijuana Limitations