Both state and federal laws regulate the possession, sale, and manufacture of marijuana. Texas law makes it illegal to possess, manufacture, distribute, or sell any amount of marijuana (marihuana). In line with the federal government, Texas classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance, which means that it has a high potential for abuse and no generally recognized medical value. Unlike federal law, though, Texas has limited exceptions permitting the use of low-THC cannabis prescribed for certain medical conditions.
This article reviews the penalties for possession (including cultivation) and delivery (including sales or gifts) of marijuana in Texas. It also discusses medical marijuana under Texas' compassionate-use program. While not covered in this article, it is always a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana in Texas.
Yes, weed is illegal throughout the state of Texas. Weed or marijuana refers to the plant Cannabis sativa L., its seeds, and any derivatives. Delta 9 is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis. Penalties for marijuana crimes vary depending on the nature of the offense and the amount involved. Penalties range from a fine or minimal jail time for simple possession to life in prison for delivery.
Texas law does not allow for medical marijuana except for cases that fall into its compassionate-use law. This exception allows qualified doctors to prescribe low-THC cannabis to their patients with certain conditions. Low-THC cannabis means the prescription cannot contain more than one percent THC.
In order for a physician to write such a prescription, several requirements must exist, including the following:
A person commits the offense of possession of marijuana by knowingly or intentionally possessing a "usable quantity" of marijuana. While not defined by statute, a usable quantity is generally enough to make a cigarette. Growing marijuana also falls under this crime.
Penalties vary according to the amount possessed with increased penalties for offenses committed in drug-free zones, such as schools, playgrounds, and youth centers. The penalties are as follows:
Texas law makes it a crime for a person to knowingly or intentionally deliver marijuana (or possess marijuana with the intent to do so). Penalties vary according to the amount sold or possessed with the intent to sell, with increased penalties for sales to a minor or within a drug-free zone.
If a felony-level offense occurred in a drug-free zone, the defendant faces one higher level of punishment. A person commits a second-degree felony if they knowingly deliver marijuana to a child (a person younger than 18). In such a case, however, an affirmative defense exists if the offender was under 21 years old and gifted one-fourth ounce or less of marijuana to the child.
It is a crime to knowingly or intentionally use or possess with intent to use drug paraphernalia in Texas. Paraphernalia includes items used in growing, harvesting, processing, selling, storing, or using marijuana.
Possession of drug paraphernalia constitutes a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $500 but no jail time. Selling paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor and subjects a defendant to up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. Selling paraphernalia becomes a state jail felony when the recipient is a minor. A guilty defendant faces 180 days to two years' imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
If you're facing a charge for a marijuana-related offense, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area as soon as possible. A lawyer can evaluate the strength of the prosecution's case against you and help develop any defenses that might apply to the unique circumstances of your case. A knowledgeable attorney can also advise you on how the law will apply to your set of facts.
(Tex. Health & Safety Code §§ 481.002, .120 to .122, .125, .134; Tex. Occup. Code §§ 169.001 to .003; Tex. Penal Code §§ 12.21 to 12.23, 12.31 to 12.35 (2022).)