What Texas law says about buying legal pot from other states

While neighboring states allow recreational and medical marijuana use, Texas is mostly bud-free.

In total, 21 states across the U.S. have legalized recreational marijuana and 37 states have allowed medical use. Texas does in fact offer medical marijuana use, but its extremely limited and heavily regulated.

But with several states only a few hours drive from Dallas-Fort Worth, what happens if someone crosses state lines with marijuana in their possession? Here’s what to know about Texas’ marijuana laws:

What does the law say about marijuana in Texas?

The possession, growing, selling, distribution and use of recreational marijuana is illegal in Texas. State law is tough on marijuana offenses. Fines can run in the thousands, plus years in jail.

Here’s how the penalties shake out for marijuana possession:

  • 2 ounces or less — Class B misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $2,000 and up to 180 days incarcerated.
  • 2-4 ounces — Class A misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $4,000 and up to one year incarcerated.
  • 4 ounces to 5 pounds — State jail felony with a maximum fine of $10,000 and 180 days to 2 years incarcerated.
  • 5 to 50 pounds — 3rd degree felony with a maximum fine of $10,000 and two to 10 years incarcerated.
  • 50 to 2,000 pounds — 2nd degree felony with a maximum fine of $10,000 and two to 20 years incarcerated.
  • 2000 pounds or more — 1st degree felony with a maximum fine of $50,000 five to 99 years incarcerated.

The penalties for selling marijuana are:

  • 7 grams or less for no remuneration — Class B misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $2,000 and up to 180 days incarcerated.
  • 7 grams or less — Class A misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $4,000 and up to a year incarcerated.
  • 7 grams to 5 pounds — State jail felony with a maximum fine of $10,000 and 180 days to two years incarcerated.
  • 5 to 50 pounds — 2nd degree felony with a maximum fine of $10,000 and two to 20 years incarcerated.
  • 50 to 2,000 pounds — 1st degree felony with a maximum fine of $10,000 and five to 99 years incarcerated.
  • 2,000 pounds or more — Enhanced 1st degree felony with a maximum fine of $100,000 and 10 to 99 years incarcerated.

The Texas Department of Public Safety operates an online registry of physicians who prescribe low-grade cannabis to people with epilepsy, terminal cancer, autism and other conditions. Finding a physician to prescribe low-THC can be found by searching the DPS website.

What happens if you cross Texas state lines with pot?

Texas law is pretty clear: It is illegal to possess recreational marijuana in Texas, regardless of where it was purchased.

If you purchased marijuana while in Colorado and then traveled to Texas with the substance, you have broken the law. It doesn’t matter if the marijuana was purchased legally, as soon as it crosses Texas state lines its considered contraband.

It’s not only a marijuana possession charge you’ll have to worry about, you could be charged with drug trafficking which is a federal crime, according to Westfall Sellers law firm.

What happens if you’re caught with weed in a Texas airport?

The Transportation Security Administration are not looking for drugs when they screen fliers, but if they find marijuana or other drugs, they will refer the matter to law enforcement.

TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security to detect potential threats to aircraft and passengers. While TSA officers are screening for weapons or other harmful items and they find an illegal substance, it will be reported to local law enforcement, according to the TSA.

Can Texans legally purchase pot in other states?

Yes, Texas residents can purchase both legal recreational and medical marijuana in other states.

Just like alcohol, anyone purchasing recreational marijuana in Colorado or New Mexico have to be at least 21 years old. For medical marijuana in Oklahoma or Louisiana, you need a medical marijuana card.

Can you consume marijuana and then travel back to Texas?

Yes, but only if you’re not driving and don’t have any marijuana in your possession.

Under Texas Penal Code chapter 49, driving while intoxicated is not only limited to alcohol but drugs as well. A DWI charge is a class B misdemeanor in Texas and could carry a fine up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail and loss of a driver license for up to a year.

This story was originally published March 21, 2023, 9:09 AM.

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Brayden Garcia is a service journalism reporter at the Star-Telegram. He graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2020, where he worked at the student newspaper, The Shorthorn. He previously worked at The Dallas Morning News covering education.


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