Many advocates of marijuana have scoffed at the notion that it is a so-called gateway drug which will inevitably lead to the use and abuse of harder drugs. While its legalization for medical purposes has proven beneficial in some states, the evidence remains that it is linked to increased likelihood of heroin and cocaine use.

There are a few things everybody should know when it comes to marijuana and its related legal consequences.

Texas remains opposed to cannabis legalization

Only 15 out of the 50 states maintain laws that completely prohibit marijuana, but Texas is one of them. This might be speculatively due to political conservatism within the state or its proximity to the border, but its effect is clear: anybody in possession of cannabis is liable to be penalized, and this even includes medical patients.

Legal in another state does not mean legal in Texas

Residents who live in states where marijuana is available medically or recreationally may mistakenly assume that they can bring their legally obtained cannabis into Texas. On the contrary, Texas laws are unconcerned with where and how individuals secured the marijuana. Law enforcement will likely target anybody who happens to possess marijuana, even if they need the drug for health purposes.

Possession can turn into intent to distribute

A possession charge is likely to result if law enforcement catches you with marijuana on your person or in your home. Some have been surprised to find that this misdemeanor charge upgrades to a felony charge with intent to distribute. Law enforcement has the discretion to determine what to charge you with, so even if you simply made the mistake of traveling through Texas with marijuana, you may face a serious legal situation.

While cannabis may have dangerous potential, penalties in Texas are potentially quite severe, too.