Spring Criminal Defense Attorney - Can you go to jail for Possession of Marijuana?
Is Marijuana Legal in Spring, Texas?
In general, marijuana remains illegal in Texas, including the location of Spring. Law enforcement officers in Montgomery County continue to make arrests for possession of less than two ounces of marijuana. However, in Harris County, the District Attorney does not accept marijuana charges filed as misdemeanors. This means that individuals caught with less than four ounces of marijuana are less likely to face charges.
While marijuana is predominantly illegal in Texas, there are some limited exceptions. Medical marijuana can be prescribed by a doctor if it contains less than 0.5 percent THC by weight and the patient has certain qualifying diagnoses. These include epilepsy, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism, terminal cancer, or an incurable neurodegenerative disease.
What if I have a medical prescription from another state?
It's important to note that Texas law takes precedence over the laws of other states, including medical prescriptions obtained elsewhere. As of March 2021, there are no national medical marijuana laws requiring states to recognize out-of-state prescriptions. Although changes to federal laws could potentially supersede Texas laws, currently, there is no such provision.
The Texas legislature recently introduced some confusion by legalizing the possession of marijuana plants with a THC content of less than 3%. This led to ambiguity due to the scientific name of marijuana and industrial hemp being the same, Cannabis sativa L.
In their attempt to create an exception to possession laws for industrial hemp producers, the legislature inadvertently increased the burden of proof on prosecutors across the state. Previously, it was sufficient for an officer or lab analyst to visually identify a substance as marijuana. However, the new law now requires forensic testing to confirm a THC content greater than 3%. This makes prosecuting marijuana cases more challenging and costly for the State of Texas. As a result, your case may have a more favorable outcome if the evidence against you is contested by a competent defense attorney.
What is the punishment for Possession of Marijuana?
Simple marijuana charges involving less than two ounces are classified as a Class B Misdemeanor in Texas, carrying a maximum punishment of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of $2,000, or both. Alternatively, probation for up to two years, which may involve drug testing and community service, is a potential punishment that could be imposed by the court or a jury following a guilty verdict
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