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What happens when you bring marijuana to Texas?

Texas Laws Around Weed Are Not as Relaxed as Other States June 5, 2024

In recent years, marijuana legalization has been a hot topic across the United States, with many states opting to legalize its use for both medical and recreational purposes. However, Texas stands out as one of the states that have not yet embraced this trend. This unique situation becomes particularly intriguing when considering Texas' proximity to New Mexico, a state that has legalized both medical and recreational marijuana for individuals aged 21 and older. This raises a host of questions regarding the potential legal ramifications for individuals who legally purchase marijuana in New Mexico and inadvertently transport it into Texas.

Texas marijuana laws are characterized by their strictness and limited scope. The only legal avenue for using marijuana in Texas is through the Texas Compassionate Use Program, which permits the medical use of low-THC marijuana for specific medical conditions such as seizure disorders, terminal cancer, or multiple sclerosis. Despite the growing acceptance of marijuana use in other states, recreational use remains firmly illegal in Texas.

The close proximity of New Mexico's legal marijuana market to Texas presents a significant challenge for Texas law enforcement agencies. The allure of legal marijuana in neighboring states may tempt Texas residents, but the potential legal consequences upon their return to Texas are substantial.

Possessing marijuana in Texas, even if it was legally purchased in a neighboring state, can lead to severe penalties. For instance, possessing up to 2 ounces of marijuana in Texas is classified as a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. The penalties increase for larger quantities, with possession of 2-4 ounces considered a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $4,000.

Possession of 4 ounces to 5 pounds of marijuana is categorized as a felony in Texas, carrying a penalty of 180 days to two years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000. Furthermore, individuals caught with marijuana purchased in a state where it is legal could potentially face drug trafficking charges, as marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.

At airports in Texas, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) prohibits the possession of all marijuana products, except those containing less than 0.3% THC. While TSA officers are not actively searching for marijuana, they are required to report any violations to local, state, or federal authorities.

In conclusion, individuals caught with marijuana in Texas, whether at airports or in possession, should seek legal counsel immediately. The consequences can be severe, and it is crucial to understand and abide by the laws of both Texas and the federal government regarding marijuana possession and use.