Will Texas’ strict marijuana laws see changes?

In recent years, several states have legalized recreational possession of marijuana. However, Texas seems unlikely to be joining this list in the near future. State law is currently very strict when it comes to this drug.

For one, being found guilty of possessing even small amounts of marijuana in the state can expose a person to jail time and significant fines. This underscores how deeply life-altering being accused of marijuana crimes can currently be in Texas.

Also, in addition to banning recreational marijuana, Texas also generally does not allow for the medical use of marijuana. There is a narrow exception for individuals with intractable epilepsy, which only allows for low-THC cannabis prescriptions. This puts Texas well in the minority, as two-thirds of states (including all of Texas’ neighbors) have legalized medical marijuana.

However, while full legalization is likely not on the horizon in the state, Texas marijuana laws might end up being far from static in upcoming months and years.

There are currently multiple legislative proposals in the state aimed at changing these laws. This includes bills to:

  • Decriminalize or reduce punishments for possession of small amounts of marijuana
  • Expand the allowed uses of medical marijuana

There also appears to be a fair amount of public support for loosening the state’s marijuana laws. In a recent poll of Texans, a vast majority of respondents (84 percent) indicated they are supportive of legalizing some uses of the drug.

A state’s drug laws have major impacts on its citizens. They have significant ramifications on the rights, options and situation of individuals when drug accusations are leveled. What changes do you think Texas is likely to see when it comes to its marijuana laws? Are there any changes in particular you think should be made?

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