The laws surrounding the purchase and use of marijuana are changing rapidly across the country. Recreational use of marijuana is now legal in 21 states, with medical marijuana legal in 37 states--but not in Texas. If you're using medical marijuana or purchasing weed legally in another state and bringing it home to Texas, you may be tempted to share it. After all, if you've purchased it legally, why can't you sell it to someone else? But marijuana isn't legal in Texas for the public, and medical marijuana is only available to those under a doctor's supervision and with a proper prescription. So, it's best to know and understand Texas laws before you bring marijuana back from another state or share your legally obtained medical marijuana.
Texas Marijuana Laws
The recreational use of marijuana or THC is illegal in Texas, and our state has some of the most serious penalties in the country for the use and distribution of marijuana in sometimes unexpected ways. For example, while possession of four ounces or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor, possession of a THC vape cartridge is a felony in Texas. Texas law also treats marijuana you purchase legally in another state just like illegal marijuana in our state. You won't receive an exception or exemption because you purchased weed legally elsewhere and brought it to Texas.
Illegal possession of marijuana in Texas can range anywhere from a class B misdemeanor for possession of four ounces or less to a first-degree felony for possession of more than 2,000 pounds. In many states, it's common to allow people to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every 14 days. If you bring five ounces of marijuana back from Arizona and the police arrest you, it is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. So, even if you bought marijuana legally in another state, you cannot legally bring it into Texas.
Medical Marijuana in Texas
While Texas does allow some to use medical use under the state's Compassionate Use Policy, this law only allows the purchase and use of cannabidiol-infused oils, a non-psychoactive substance found in marijuana. These oils, known as CBD, treat seizures and pain. Not many doctors in Texas are qualified to administer CBD oils, and they are only available for limited diagnoses, like epilepsy.
Intent to Distribute in Texas
Moreover, if you get caught selling marijuana or CBD oils in Texas, even if you obtained them legally elsewhere, the police could charge you with distributing marijuana. Distributing or delivering up to seven ounces of pot is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. But possessing and selling a concentrated THC oil like those found in vape cartridges or THC gummies can be a felony.
It's also important to remember that “distributing or delivering” is defined broadly in Texas. Even sharing marijuana with some friends can be “distribution” under Texas law. You don't have to sell the drug for money; delivery of marijuana to another person is enough for an arrest for selling marijuana.
You Need an Expert in Texas Criminal Defense
If you were arrested for selling marijuana in Texas, remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. Marijuana drug crimes can be complex and can have serious penalties. That's why you need an expert in Texas criminal defense to protect your rights and aggressively defend you. Attorney Doug Murphy is an expert in Criminal Defense Law and DWI Defense, with Board Certifications in both specialties. U.S. News and World Report also recently named Doug as Lawyer of the Year on their Best Lawyers in America list for Houston DWI defense for 2021 and 2023.
Doug, and the skilled team at the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C., have extensive experience litigating and defending complex drug cases in Texas. Call the firm at 713-229-8333, or contact them online to schedule your consultation.