THC is a component of the Cannabis plant. It is Cannabis’ chief psychoactive chemical, responsible for producing the high that’s commonly associated with the plant. CBD is another component that, like THC, is commonly isolated and sold separately from the actual Cannabis flower. Unlike THC, however, CBD is non-psychoactive, and therefore, produces no high. Because of this, CBD is legal in a lot of places where THC isn’t. One place where THC’s use is regulated is in Texas.
This post will tell you about the legality of consuming THC in the state of Texas.
Cannabis In Texas
Texas’ Cannabis laws are still quite strict. A lot of people from the state ask, is THC legal in Texas? The answer to that question is tricky. Yes, THC is technically legal in Texas, but only in very small quantities. It is illegal to own any product that contains more than 0.3% THC unless you have a medical certificate, in which case you can own Cannabis that’s up to 1% strength. The average Cannabis seized in 2019 was around 14% in strength. What this means is, that while you can use THC, you won’t be able to get a high from it.
Up until 1973, Texas had the harshest Cannabis laws in the entire United States. While the laws have become a lot more relaxed in recent years, it’s worth noting that Cannabis usage generally isn’t looked upon very fondly by the residents of Texas. The main reason for Cannabis’ unpopularity is because the state is deeply religious, with many of the state’s residents considering themselves Christian. Religion was also the reason why Cannabis was so severely punished in the 1960s and ‘70s. Prior to 1973, possession of any amount could result in a minimum of two years imprisonment, with a maximum of life.
Proposed Recreational Legalization
In 2015, David Simpson, a Texan State Representative, proposed House Bill 2165, which would legalize Cannabis usage for recreational uses. Simpson’s argument, which came from a religious place and is quite an unusual argument for a conservative Christian to make, was that God could surely not have made a mistake when he made Cannabis, and therefore, the government shouldn’t enforce laws for it.
Limited Medical Use
Also in 2015, Texas Governor, Greg Abbot, approved Senate Bill 339, which allowed the use of low-THC Cannabis oil for the treatment of epilepsy. Cannabis has been shown to be extremely effective in the treatment of epilepsy, with it seriously reducing seizures, and even completely stopping them in some patients. It can also be used to treat a broad range of other health conditions, including, but not limited to, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
In 2019, Texas’ House of Representatives voted to reduce the penalties imposed upon people found to be in possession of Cannabis. The enactment was supposed to make the possession of one ounce of Cannabis a Class C misdemeanor, which would mean that it wouldn’t be possible to go to prison if found to be in possession of this amount. However, the next day Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick refused to pass it, turning it down, much to the disappointment of many pro-Cannabis advocates in Texas’ government.
Also in 2019, House Bill 1325 became active, after Governor Abbott signed it into law, allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp. Industrial hemp contains negligible amounts of THC, making it nearly impossible to get high from it. However, CBD can be extracted from industrial hemp, which means that it’s possible for people to grow their own so that they can get hold of CBD. The same bill also made it possible for people to access CBD products without a medical certificate. In the same year, a few months later, Governor Abbott also signed into place House Bill 3703, which increased the qualifying conditions that made people eligible for medical Cannabis. The conditions prior to this bill’s enactment were limited to epilepsy only. After the bill passed, terminal cancer, multiple sclerosis, autism, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s were added.
After hemp became legalized, it became possible for people to smoke dried hemp flowers. Many people claim that dried hemp flower produces a high, although this is debatable. Regardless, in 2020, smokable hemp was banned. It is now illegal to grow smokable hemp, but not to sell it. Many pro-Cannabis advocates claim that banning smokable hemp is unconstitutional. A lot of people who take Cannabis for medicinal purposes say that smokable hemp is very good for them, mainly because it gives them a way of consuming CBD that’s comfortable for them and doesn’t involve taking any oil, edible, or supplemental medication. Many people in Texas continue to smoke hemp, despite the law. The same is also true for Cannabis.
Medical THC Limits
In the summer of 2021, Texas lawmakers introduced House Bill 1535, which raised the limit from 0.5% to 1% and also included a variety of different types of cancer, and also PTSD. The bill initially wanted the limit to be raised to 5% but is now 1%. 1% of THC might not seem like a lot, but it can actually produce a high, even if it’s just a moderate one. This has given people who suffer from PTSD and other conditions the ability to benefit from Cannabis’ analgesic effects, which only really work when large amounts of THC and CBD are combined.
Prosecution for Cannabis
Because Cannabis is not legalized for general use in Texas, you can be prosecuted for possessing it. If you think that you deserve to take Cannabis (or need to, rather) because of a medical condition, then you should apply for a medical Cannabis license. If you are found to be in possession of it and do not have one, then you will be prosecuted just like everybody else. The penalties for Cannabis in Texas can still be quite high, and you can be sent to jail.
Texas is a state that has been very slow in legalizing Cannabis or really taking any progressive steps toward making it possible for the general public to use it. If you want to use Cannabis and you live in Texas, try to do so legally. Illegal Cannabis consumption can get you into a lot of trouble.