By Sushree Mohanty Jan 15, 2020
Texas attempted to legalize hemp last year. However, there was a lot of confusion about
whether the state legalized or decriminalized cannabis. Texans don’t understand the current cannabis situation in the state. Many people wonder if cannabis is legal in Texas. As a result, there have been a lot of arrests. The current situation shouldn’t have happened. However, the state doesn’t the right equipment or measures to determine if a person possesses hemp or marijuana. Let’s take a look at the current situation in Texas.
Current cannabis situation in Texas
Since it’s impossible to differentiate between hemp and marijuana in Texas, city officials are now stepping up to decriminalize possession of a small amount of marijuana in the state. The Texas Tribune reported on January 10 that the Austin City Council would be voting on a proposal this month about whether to purchase equipment or decriminalize marijuana.
Texas law enforcement has been struggling since lawmakers passed the hemp law last year. There’s only a slight difference between hemp and marijuana. Marijuana has a THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) level of 0.3% or more, while hemp’s THC concentration is less than 0.3%. As a result, the state needs expensive equipment. The cannabis situation in Texas is confusing. Officials are trying to find a resolution without making matters worse.
Basically, council officials don’t think that it’s fair to make arrests for possession of low-level marijuana. The state doesn’t recognize low-level marijuana as legal hemp or cannabis. Austin City Council member Greg Casar thinks that buying equipment to differentiate between hemp and marijuana would waste the state’s resources.
However, making arrests without lab reports describing it as “marijuana” also isn’t justifiable. Casar said, “Marijuana charges can derail people’s lives.” He also said, “You can lose your eligibility for student financial aid. People have lost their jobs. People can even get deported. And so this is about taking care of people.”