Has Texas decriminalized Marijuana? That is a question many people are asking after the recent legislation passed in the state. The legislation has allowed the production of hemp, and it’s products. Most people think this means marijuana is now legal in Texas, but it is not. And if you are one of them, here is an explanation.
Marijuana and hemp are two different things
Although there is minimal difference between them, Marijuana and Hemp are still two different things. So, while you may not get in trouble for having the latter in your possession, you will likely get arrested for having the former. But what is the difference?
Well, it all depends on a substance called tetrahydrocannabinol, simply known as THC. It’s the psychoactive part of cannabis that gives you a high when you smoke it. It is found in different quantities in Marijuana and Hemp. The magic number that sets the two apart is 0.3%. Marijuana has more than 0.3 percent of THC, while hemp has less than 0.3%.
Hemp and its products are legal in Texas, and marijuana is not. Many people argue that it’s such a minute amount of THC to separate whether a person is using the legal or illegal substance, but that is how things stand.
Why does hemp get a Yes?
Hemp is remarkably medicinal. It has recently become popular in the U.S. and increasingly around the world for its medicinal values. Many companies have been set up and are thriving from creating and selling hemp products.
The use and sale of Hemp in Texas became legal when the U.S. Farm Bill was enacted in 2018. In U.S. states where medicinal marijuana is legal, many companies are expanding from just selling medical marijuana to hemp and its products. It’s creating a lot of jobs and providing a lot of useful products.
The U.S. Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of Schedule I controlled list of substances. After that, hemp stopped being an illegal drug and became an agricultural commodity. Today, hemp is getting a nod from the legislature in states like Texas, even if it’s quite similar to marijuana.
As a result, in early 2019, Texas passed house bill 1325, which made the production of hemp legal. On June 10th, the governor signed the bill into law.
Why do people feel marijuana has been legalized in Texas?
There is a problem, however, especially for law enforcement agents, that surrounds the enforcing of the illegality of marijuana in Texas. Since such a small amount of THC is used to tell them apart, how can the police or anyone really tell if someone is using hemp or marijuana? The answer is, they can’t..yet!
Law enforcement in Texas is very strict about marijuana possession and use. They treat such cases as they do those of methamphetamine or heroin use. But as yet, authorities do not have a certified and accurate method of determining the difference between the two substances.
The plants are similar to each other and smell the same. Authorities have no equipment that can tell the two apart. As a result, many counties are not prosecuting people found with low levels of cannabis. They have chosen to wait until there is reliable technology available to make sure people are prosecuted fairly.
This is one of the reasons why many people feel the legalization of hemp in the state has been an accidental acceptance of people to freely use cannabis with no fear of arrest. After all, how can you arrest people if you cannot determine what they have taken in the first place? And this is why many people feel it may be time to legalize marijuana in Texas. It could happen in the future, but as for now, hemp and hemp products are the only legal substances where this subject is concerned.
Should Texas legalize marijuana?
While some people in Texas may feel marijuana is a harmful drug and should not be legalized, there are some benefits to it. For starters, the growth, processing, and selling of the plant and its products, just like with hemp, will create a lot of jobs.
The state will also benefit from the tax revenue generated from companies and businesses that grow, process, and sell marijuana, and it’s products. Keep in mind that since the drug has not been federally legalized, any tax income generated from it would remain in the state.
Apart from these two advantages, cannabis does have its own benefits. It is not only recreational but is also used as a pain reliever by people with various chronic ailments. It can do a lot of good.
These three factors are enough to make the legalization of cannabis a lucrative idea in Texas and a possibility in the future. But for now, you can be sure that only hemp and its products are legal in Texas, and marijuana is not!