The state of marijuana laws in Texas and throughout the country are often confusing, especially right now. Depending on what state you live in and sometimes even what city you live in, and the type of cannabis product you use (marijuana, hemp or CBD), you could face anything from nothing to felony charges.
What about in Houston?
As locals know, marijuana, generally, is not decriminalized in our state. However, some counties and cities have stopped arresting or reduced consequences for small amounts of marijuana. In our county (Harris County), we have the Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program.
The MMDP allows those caught with less than 4 ounces to avoid arrest and prosecution through a 4-hour drug education class. Started in 2017 by the county’s district attorney, the MMDP can be used by anyone that is over 17, has no pending cases and has no prior convictions. Though, you cannot use it if you are caught in a drug-free zone, like a school, or if you were also charged with another offense, like DUI.
To be clear though, marijuana is still illegal in Houston and Harris County. The use of the MMDP is at the discretion of the arresting police officer. Moreover, you only have 90 days to take the class, and the MMDP does not apply to federal law and federal agencies.
What about medical marijuana?
Medical marijuana is legal in Texas, but only for a very small number of people. Specifically, only those that suffer specific debilitating conditions, including PTSD, ALS, MS, cancer, etc. qualify for the medical use of medical marijuana through Texas’s Compassionate Use Program.
Except for state-approved and licensed medical use, marijuana is illegal in Texas, including in Houston. However, if you are caught with less than 4 ounces, you may be able to avoid arrest, if the police officer that stops you opts for the MMDP. Otherwise, you will face drug charges.