What You Need to Know About Marijuana Laws in Texas

Maverick Ray Law
October 27, 2023

The recreational use of pot is still illegal in the State of Texas. However, the state recently expanded the medicinal use of marijuana under its compassionate-use law (although it is still very limited).

Unfortunately, if you are caught in possession or attempting to sell pot you will likely face harsh penalties through the criminal justice system. You need a tough lawyer that will fight the charges against you.

At Maverick Ray & Associates, we provide aggressive defense against marijuana crimes, always working to protect our client's rights and their freedoms. If you have been arrested on drug charges, contact our office at (281) 672-8029 for a free consultation. We proudly represent clients in Houston and the surrounding areas.

Texas Weed Laws

Marijuana is considered a controlled substance and is unlawful to possess in Texas. The laws prohibiting the possession and sale of the drug are codified into the Texas Controlled Substances Act under the Health and Safety Code.

Is Marijuana Legal in Texas?

It is illegal (under most circumstances) to possess pot in Texas. While there are some limited exceptions for Low-THC cannabis for certain medical conditions, the recreational or personal use of pot is not legal.

While the possession of weed for personal use has been legalized in some states, it is still illegal under federal law in addition to Texas state law. However, some local counties and cities have decriminalized or lessened the penalties for minor pot tickets.

Marijuana Possession in Texas

In most cases, it is not legal to possess pot in Texas. According to Section 481.121 of the Health and Safety Code, it is against the law to intentionally or knowingly possess any amount of pot.

What Happens if I’m Caught with Weed?

If you are caught with weed you can face significant penalties including jail time. It is imperative that you speak with an experienced attorney if you have been charged with a marijuana crime.

Penalties for marijuana possession:

  • 2 ounces or less: Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,000 and jail time of up to six months.
  • 4 ounces or less (but over 2 ounces): Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and jail time not to exceed one year.
  • 5 pounds or less (but over 4 ounces): State jail felony punishable by six months to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • 50 pounds or less (but over 5 pounds): 3rd-degree felony punishable by two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • 2,000 pounds or less (but over 50 pounds): 2nd-degree felony punishable by two to twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • 2,000 pounds or more: Imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for 5 to 99 years and a fine of up to $50,0000.

Depending on the amount of pot you are caught with you may simply be issued a summons to appear at a future court date or be required to post bail to secure a pre-trial release.

Delivery of Marijuana

As with possession, delivery of any amount of marijuana is unlawful. A person who knowingly and intentionally delivers pot to a person may be guilty of a criminal offense.

What Happens If I’m Caught Delivering or Selling Marijuana?

If you are caught delivering or selling marijuana you may face significant penalties through the criminal justice system upon conviction.

Penalties for delivering or selling marijuana:

  • 1/4 ounce or less and you are not paid for the pot, you may be charged with a class B misdemeanor (6 months in jail and a $2,000 fine).
  • 1/4 ounce or less and you were paid for the weed, you may be charged with a class A misdemeanor (one year in jail and a $4,000 fine).
  • Five pounds or less, but over 1/4 ounce, you may be charged with a state jail felony (two years in jail and a $10,000 fine).
  • 50 pounds or less, but more than five pounds, you may be charged with a 2nd-degree felony (2 to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine).
  • 2,000 pounds or less, but more than 50 pounds, you may be charged with a 1st-degree felony (5 to 99 years in prison and a $10,000).
  • 2,000 pounds or more, you may be imprisoned for 10 to 99 years and a fine not to exceed $100,000.

It is important to note that there may be additional penalties for being caught selling pot to children.

Medical Use Marijuana

While many states have legalized the personal and medical use of marijuana, Texas is far behind the times. The laws regarding the medical use of marijuana were recently expanded.

In 2021, Texas House Bill 1535 increased the number of medical conditions which could qualify for medicinal marijuana use and raised the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)  from .5% to 1%.

Is Cannabis Legal for Medical Use?

Under some circumstances (but not all) low-THC cannabis oil is legal. Consuming the flower of a plant by smoking, however, is still unlawful.

What Are the Medical Conditions that Qualify?

Currently, there are few medical conditions that qualify under Texas’s compassionate use program.

The following medical conditions qualify for medicinal marijuana use:

  • Epilepsy
  • Seizure disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spasticity
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Incurable neurodegenerative disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • A medical condition approved for a research program

If you have a qualifying medical condition but were still arrested for possession of marijuana, contact our office immediately to discuss your rights.

Legalizing Pot in Texas

There is hope that marijuana may one day become legal in Texas. Several counties and cities have passed ordinances either decriminalizing the possession of a small amount of cannabis or reducing the penalties associated with the offense.

Will Smoking Weed Ever Become Legal in Texas?

More and more people are becoming outspoken about the belief that the personal use and possession of weed should not be illegal.

A study out of the University of Texas at Austin found that only 13% of the Texans surveyed believe that marijuana possession should not be legal under any circumstances.

27% of people found that the medicinal use of marijuana should be allowed. More convincingly, 31% of people responded that possession of a small amount of weed should be legal and 29% stated that possession of any amount should be allotted.

This means that 60% of people believe that it should be legal to possess some amount of weed. Despite the trend towards legalization, Texas may wait until the federal government legalizes possession of the drug.

How Can a Lawyer Protect Me?

If you are charged with a marijuana offense, an attorney can help you fight the charges and protect your rights. They will leave no stone unturned to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome in your case.

Contact Our Office for a Free Consultation

Contact Maverick Ray & Associates at (281) 672-8029 for a free, no-obligation consultation. Let us help you get the charges reduced or dismissed. Call now to get started.