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Possession and use of cannabis are drug crimes in Texas

Laws governing the use and distribution of medical marijuana vary from state to state. In Texas, cannabis is illegal save for exceptions laid out in the Compassionate Use Act of 2015. It is important for anyone using or seeking to use medical marijuana to understand these laws, as those who unlawfully possess or distribute the substance can be charged with drug crimes.

Texas' medical marijuana legislation is highly restrictive, especially compared to the laws in nearby states. The only people who are permitted to use cannabis legally in the state are those with intractable epilepsy. Even then, there is a long process required to access the low-THC version of the drug given to state medical patients.

To get a prescription for medical marijuana, two physicians must independently concur that it is a reasonable treatment. To be eligible, patients must have previously tried at least two other antipileptic drugs without results. Both physicians involved in the prescription must be either certified in neurology or epileptology and belong to the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas. There are currently 31 physicians on the registry across the state.

Use and access to medical marijuana is an ongoing controversy in Texas and across the United States. Those who unlawfully possess up to 4 ounces of the substance can be charged with misdemeanor drug crimes and may face up to 180 days in jail. Multiple factors, including the quality of the accused individual's defense, can influence his or her sentence. Those accused of the possession of marijuana should speak with a Texas lawyer about their case.

Source: Ryan Bort, "How to Get Medical Marijuana in Texas: Where to Get Legal Weed", Ryan Bort, April 13, 2018

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John M. Petruzzi, Attorney at Law
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