Texas Marijuana Laws and Restrictions

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Texas has always been on the forefront in the War on Drugs, but 2018 began with a marijuana milestone thanks to the new Texas marijuana laws. However, one question comes to mind: Will these laws be helpful for those who truly need cannabis as a medical treatment?

Texas is the last big state to allow the substance, but the oil extract allowed is very low on THC, making it impossible for anyone to get high. Even if this is so, severe punishments and penalties are still in place for illegal possession of marijuana in any of its forms.  

Classified as a narcotic since 1931 and up to 1973, Texas has a long history of cannabis prohibition. Good news came in 2015 when Greg Abbott affixed his signature to the Texas Compassionate Use Act. The act allows low THC CBD oil for epileptic patients. Unfortunately for many, it did not get that much attention due to its slow implementation and a number of other problems that make it impossible to celebrate it.

A Dose of Caution

It is safe to say that Texas now has a softened attitude toward the drug, but it is still not as cannabis friendly as other states. Individuals caught in possession of a joint can still go to jail. Aside from jail time and severe penalties, Texas also has high licensing fees, not enough dispensaries, and lots of patients needing marijuana who cannot access the drug legally.

If you are suffering from an ailment with symptoms that can be curbed by the drug, it is important to consult your physician to find out if you are eligible to take it. It is also a good idea to study specific laws on marijuana possession before you go to the dispensary.

Tighter Controls for Growers

Marijuana growers do not thrive in Texas thanks to licensing fees that are eighty times more than what was recommended. There are also several other requirements that growers need to fulfil, including video surveillance of every square inch of their plant. They are also obligated by law to keep said video records for two years.

Growers are also prohibited from asking a third party to do quality checks.

These restrictions were put into place by Stephanie Klick, a Republican who is strongly against the recreational use of cannabis.

Marijuana Access

There are only eight participating doctors in Texas while there is a population of 27 million. This is a very poor ratio. While the state now has marijuana for limited access, the laws are still too restrictive in the eyes of many observers.

Access to marijuana in Texas is only allowed for patients suffering from intractable epilepsy. From this small population, only those who have tried at least two other kinds of treatment can get access to the drug.

For some, this is heartbreaking because even if you can get marijuana, not everyone who needs it can take it. An individual suffering from several seizures a day but whose condition is not categorized as intractable epilepsy cannot get cannabis, for example. This puts them at risk for arrest and needing a marijuana possession attorney.

Limitations are understandable, according to experts, but Texas’ restrictive medical marijuana law is indicative of a long journey for patients who need the drug.

Too Restrictive to Do Much Good

Back in 2015, when the Compassionate Use Act was enacted, its sluggish implementation was an indication of what’s to come:

  • Aside from the low THC content requirement, cannabidiol has limits, too.
  • Dispensaries cannot sell any cannabis that is more than the allowed limit.
  • Patients who need cannabis cannot grow their own marijuana,, either, and smoking it is excluded from Texas’ medical use definition.

These are only some of the problems that the act is facing. More problems are discussed in detail below.

As mentioned, patients who qualify for the program are only those who are diagnosed with intractable epilepsy. Apart from undergoing at least two prior treatments that do not involve cannabis, patients should get two recommendations from two physicians. Both physicians must agree that the risk of medical cannabis use is reasonable.

Doctors have a problem with the bill, too, so there are problems from all corners. The DEA notes that physicians cannot prescribe marijuana as it is a Schedule I substance. This means that a physician will be breaking the law if he or she prescribes the drug.

The Texan law, on the other hand, dictates that doctors need to prescribe medical marijuana instead of recommending it like in other states. The term “prescription” as compared to “recommendation” is a hot topic for physicians in Texas today.

Many businesses filed formal complaints to the governor and the DPS for the law’s ineffective implementation as well.

With all of these problems in mind, Texas marijuana laws are just so restrictive that they likely won’t help anybody out. It is also predicted to fail even before it starts.