The Texas House of Representatives has passed a bill that would make possession of less than one ounce of marijuana a ticketable offense, as opposed to a misdemeanor, meaning that in the eyes of the law, it is a minor offense.
Thousands of Texas residents are currently in need of a safe way to consume marijuana. If the goal of Proposition 2 is to decriminalize marijuana for recreational use, it should be easy to recognize that the law does not have the effect of legalizing marijuana, and that possession of marijuana remains a crime, just like any other controlled substance. The proposition’s failure will be felt by those who seek medical marijuana, but a failure to provide relief to sick and dying patients could also be felt by the state’s law enforcement officials, who will face an influx of new criminal charges for marijuana possession.
Texas is the latest state to pass legislation aimed at making recreational marijuana legal, following in the footsteps of Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia. The bill would reduce the maximum punishment for possession of one ounce of marijuana to a $250 civil fine, rather than the state jail time and fine of up to $2,000 jail time that is currently allowed.
One by one, U.S. states are adopting marijuana legalization programs, and the last two of them: New York and New Mexico, which followed within 24 hours, bringing the total number of states that have adopted legalization policies to 17. The South is a little slower with this practice, with states like Maryland, Virginia and now Texas leading the way. Last month, the Texas Senate passed several bills to decriminalize marijuana, expand the medical cannabis industry, lower fines for THC concentrates, and require testing for psychedelics. The recently passed Texas marijuana decriminalization law shows how much cannabis has become accepted. Nowadays, every state seems to be adjusting its guidelines to make room for more and more products in an ever-growing market. And that’s great for you! New products like delta-8 THC are on the rise. This alternative form of THC gives the user a clearer mind, a slightly less psychoactive high and no Delta 9 induced anxiety. Are you interested? If so, we have many Delta-8 THC products to try. So choose your items and we will deliver them to you as soon as possible.
USA and cannabis
The night of March 31, 2021 to March 1. In April 2021, New York and New Mexico passed laws to open up the recreational cannabis market in those two states. The two states will be the 16th and 17th. State that passed legalization. There are a total of 20 locations in the United States, including Washington, D.C., and the territories of Guam and the Mariana Islands. All sites combined include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Illinois, Maine, the Marianas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington. As you will see, while New Mexico, Arizona and California are in the south or have a southern part that borders the Mexican border, none of the states on this list are associated with the south, and certainly not the deep south. Two miles from Arizona, on the right, is Texas. Texas is part of the South, along with Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. States classified as southern states do not currently legalize recreational cannabis, but the following states do legalize medical cannabis in some form: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Not bad for a region that was totally opposed to such a change when drugs were first legalized a few decades ago. Another measure to be considered is a decriminalisation policy. The following southern states are represented here: Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee (in part) and Virginia. Of these decriminalized states in the South, Maryland, Mississippi, and Virginia have both full medical legalization and decriminalization measures.
Texas and cannabis laws
Texas is currently considering decriminalizing marijuana, but it has taken a long time. Texas has an interesting and varied relationship with cannabis. After Prohibition in 1931, Texas was known to have the strictest laws against marijuana users. Before 1973, possession of even a small amount of drugs was a crime punishable by two years to life in prison. This changed in 1973 with the passage of Bill 447, which relaxed (but did not decriminalize) sentencing. The new law makes possession of up to two ounces a class B misdemeanor, punishable by a $1,000 fine, up to 180 days in jail and driver’s license revocation. According to recent announcements, this fine has been increased to $2,000. Current law states that 2 to 4 ounces is also a felony, but punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. Four ounces or more is a felony. For four ounces, the mandatory minimum sentence is 180 days in jail, and for those caught with more than 2,000 pounds, the penalty can be up to 99 years. The highest mandatory minimum fine is £2,000 and carries a minimum sentence of five years. If you are caught selling cannabis, selling seven grams or less is a felony punishable by 6 to 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,000 to $4,000. Between 7 grams and 5 pounds, it is a felony punishable by 6 months to 2 years in prison, with 6 months being the mandatory minimum. This amount can result in a fine of up to $10,000. The £50 charge remains a felony, with prison sentences ranging from 2 to 99 years, with two years being the mandatory minimum for five pounds and 10 years the mandatory minimum for more than £2,000. Fines range from $10,000 to $100,000. Sale to a minor is punishable by imprisonment from 2 to 10 years, with a mandatory minimum sentence of two years. Such a sale is also subject to a fine of up to $10,000.
Relatively recent updates
In 2007, then-Governor Rick Perry signed Act 2391, which gave law enforcement the ability to punish and release juvenile offenders. A policy to limit arrests by allowing officers to issue a restraining order without making an arrest. In 2015, an attempt was made to legalize recreational drugs through Bill 2165. The bill passed the House Criminal Justice Committee, but did not make it to the legislative session. Medical cannabis was legalized in 2015, but in a very limited way, under Senate Bill 339, the Texas Compassionate Use Act. This provision was expanded in 2019 by House Bill 3703, which expanded the number of conditions that qualify for medical cannabis. Also in 2019, House Bill 63, which would have significantly reduced the fines, was passed by the House, but after its passage, Dan Patrick – the lieutenant governor – blocked the vote in the Senate. 2019 has been a big year for Texas and cannabis law. In the same year, Law 1325 was passed, legalizing the cultivation of industrial hemp and the production of cannabis products such as CBD without a medical license. This officially changed the definition of cannabis in the state, resulting in many prison sentences being revoked and criminal records being expunged. All of the above is federal, and states and local municipalities develop their own decriminalization policies as they see fit.
What happens now?
Quite, 2021 certainly promises to be an interesting year for Texas and drugs in general. Here are four bills currently going through the system. Marijuana laws in Texas
Decriminalization of marijuana in Texas – Updates:
Update #1 A review of the legislation – passed and not passed – clearly shows that there is a trend toward decriminalization/legalization of marijuana in Texas. This situation has been exacerbated by various legal developments. The first is the recent passage of House Bill 441, which relaxes criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis. The bill makes the consumption of one ounce of alcohol a class C misdemeanor, with no jail time and no loss of driver’s license, thus removing that amount from the criminal realm. Officers can only issue a restraining order in this case. If Texas passes this marijuana decriminalization law, it would also eliminate the risk of arrest for underage possession. The fines remain, but the bill sets them at a maximum of $500. The offender must pay a fine and admit guilt or plead not guilty to the charges (if any) to get the case dismissed for a year. No criminal record is kept after a year without incident. As you can see, this is not really decriminalization, as offenders must admit guilt in court to avoid jail time. And the idea of decriminalization only comes up when the offender follows a certain procedure, suggesting that he or she would otherwise still be prosecuted. Thus, it cannot remove the threat of imprisonment, but only provide the opportunity to avoid it. This issue has not been adequately addressed, as the bill refers both to the abolition of custodial sentences for these offences and to the need for a specific procedure to avoid criminal prosecution. Update #2 Texas also wants to update its policy on medical marijuana. House Bill 1535 would cover all cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder patients. However, there is no mention of chronic patients (a curious omission, given the growing opioid epidemic). A provision in the bill allowed the Department of Health to expand eligibility if necessary, but this provision was repealed. As well as the 5% cap on THC content, which has been lowered to 1%. The Senate vote was scheduled for the 25th. Can be expected, but it’s not a given. Update #3 House Bill 2593 is now a new milestone in Texas. The bill would reduce the penalty for possession of THC concentrates and THC-containing products, which is currently a felony. This bill would make the use of less than two ounces of concentrate or tincture merely a class B misdemeanor, which would carry the same penalty as the use of cannabis flower. While the House passed the bill, the Senate added another provision to create a definition of total THC that includes all isomers, such as… B. delta-8-THC, includes. This of course makes sense, as each delta-THC has the same chemical structure. If this bill passes, Delta-8 THC will become as criminal as Delta-9. It also makes sense because we already know that Delta-8 is federally banned. Since the Senate amended the bill, the House of Representatives can either simply adopt these new amendments or set up a committee to iron out the differences, then send the bill to the governor. It is not known at this time in which direction it will go. Update #4 As evidence of the growing medical attention to psychedelics, the Texas House of Representatives recently passed House Bill 1802, which requires the state to further study psychedelics for the treatment of veterans. The bill specifically mentions MDMA, ketamine (a close relative of escatamine, currently available under the name Spravato) and the magic mushroom psilocybin. The research is being conducted through a partnership between Texas State and Baylor College of Medicine. This bill, like the others mentioned, still needs to be approved by the Senate or House of Representatives and then signed by the governor.
It would be nice to have total legalization of recreation, but it doesn’t always work the way we want. Instead, it looks like Texas will pass a bill to decriminalize marijuana, lower penalties for concentrates, expand the medical industry and start studying psychedelics. Texas is definitely taking steps to update its antiquated cannabis…. and psychedelic laws.On Thursday this week, Representative Joe Moody (D) of El Paso introduced HB 507, which would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in Texas. HB 507 has already gained some support within the Texas State Legislature, with both the House and Senate having passed similar bills this year. Moody’s bill would make possession of one ounce of marijuana a civil, non-criminal offense, punishable with a fine of $250.. Read more about federal legalization 2021 and let us know what you think.
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