Recently, Texas passed a law that made it legal to possess hemp. However, confusion regarding how to enforce the law has resulted in prosecutors throughout the state refusing to accept misdemeanor marijuana possession cases. The confusion comes from the fact that hemp is defined as cannabis that has a limited amount of THC in it. Labs in the state are not currently able to conclusively determine how much THC is in cannabis.
Therefore, it is not possible to conclusively prove whether a person was in possession of marijuana or hemp. According to the district attorney in Travis County, lab testing is the best way to prove that a defendant either possessed or attempted to distribute marijuana. Authorities in Travis County have chosen to not pursue dozens of felony possession or delivery of THC or marijuana charges. This has been met with criticism from the governor and other top Texas leaders.
They wrote a letter saying that marijuana has not been decriminalized in the state and that prosecutors still have the tools necessary to try marijuana possession cases. For instance, they say that a person can be charged and prosecuted for not having a hemp certificate. State leaders also say that lab tests aren’t always necessary to show that a person was in possession of a controlled substance.
A conviction on a drug possession charge may result in significant negative consequences for a defendant. In addition to jail time or a fine, an individual may experience personal or professional consequences after being charged or convicted. These may include strained relationships with family members or difficulty finding work. An attorney may be able to get a criminal charge reduced through a plea deal or dropped entirely, depending on the facts of the case.