Marijuana legislation in Texas has been a topic of discussion for many years, with efforts to legalize both medical and recreational use gaining traction in recent years. Here, we’ll take a look at past and future efforts to change marijuana laws in Texas.
History of Marijuana Legislation in Texas
Marijuana has been illegal in Texas since 1931, and possession of any amount can result in fines and jail time. However, there have been some efforts to decriminalize marijuana possession in Texas over the years.
In 2007, the city of Austin passed an ordinance that allowed police officers to cite and release individuals found in possession of small amounts of marijuana, rather than arresting them. Since then, several other Texas cities, including Houston and Dallas, have passed similar ordinances.
In 2015, Texas passed the Compassionate Use Act, which allowed for the use of low-THC cannabis oil for patients with certain medical conditions. However, the law is very restrictive and only allows patients with intractable epilepsy to use the oil, which must contain no more than 0.5% THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis).
Efforts to Legalize Recreational Marijuana in Texas
There have been several efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in Texas, but none have been successful thus far. In 2019, a bill was introduced in the Texas legislature that would have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana and established a system for regulating and taxing recreational use. However, the bill did not pass.
In 2021, another bill to legalize recreational marijuana was introduced in the Texas legislature. The bill would have allowed adults aged 21 and over to possess up to two ounces of marijuana and cultivate up to six plants for personal use. However, the bill did not make it out of committee.
Future of Marijuana Legislation in Texas
Despite the failure of recent bills to legalize marijuana in Texas, there is still hope for future progress. A poll conducted by the University of Texas and Texas Tribune in 2019 found that 63% of Texans support legalization of marijuana for recreational use, and 87% support legalization for medical use.
There are also several advocacy groups working to change marijuana laws in Texas, including the Texas Cannabis Industry Association and Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy. These groups are working to educate lawmakers and the public about the benefits of marijuana legalization and push for change in Texas.
While marijuana remains illegal for recreational use in Texas, there have been past efforts to decriminalize possession and recent efforts to legalize both medical and recreational use. Despite setbacks, there is hope for future progress in changing marijuana laws in Texas. As attitudes towards marijuana continue to evolve, it will be interesting to see how the landscape of marijuana legislation in Texas changes in the coming years.