Granger and Mueller PC
we can help Call us 24/7
Our Practice Areas

A New Future For Texas Marijuana Laws?

While some recent attempts to loosen restrictive marijuana laws in Texas have failed, there are several new bills in the state legislature aimed at reducing criminal penalties and sentences for certain marijuana-related offenses. If Texas does change its marijuana laws, the state would be following a national trend. It is estimated that more than 20 percent of U.S. adults now live in areas where the drug has been legalized, with many other states taking action to reduce penalties for use.

While marijuana possession is still a federal crime, states have for the most part changed their own laws without pushback from the federal government. Changes in marijuana laws in Texas may face an obstacle in Governor Greg Abbott, who has in the past spoken against legalization of the drug. He did, however sign a bill that allows some access to medical marijuana.

Current marijuana possession law in Texas

Possession of less than two ounces of marijuana in the state of Texas is a Class B misdemeanor, and offenders face up to 180 days in jail and fines that can range up to $2,000. Legislators who want to change the law are aiming their efforts at these low-level offenses, and making efforts to make medical marijuana more widely available. Ultimately, the decision may be left up to the voters of the state of Texas.

Marijuana-related bills in the Texas legislature

On the first day that legislators were allowed to file bills for the 2017 legislative session, several were introduced related to marijuana.

  • House Bill 58 proposes a special court for first-time possession, in order to keep these low-level offenders out of the normal criminal justice process.
  • House Bill 81 is aimed at making low-level marijuana offenses a civil rather than criminal matter. Senate Bill 170 has similar provisions.
  • House Bill 82 reduces possession of one ounce or less from a Class B to a Class C misdemeanor, other than for three-time offenders.
  • Senate Joint Resolution 17 aims to put the question of marijuana legalization on the ballot so voters can decide.
  • Senate Joint Resolution 18 is also a ballot measure, proposing that voters decide if medical marijuana should be more broadly legalized.

It is difficult to pinpoint the exact future of marijuana laws in the state of Texas, though national trends show that there is an increased call to treat the drug less harshly, especially for low-level offenders who are clogging the criminal justice system. While the current governor shows no signs of backing down on his anti-legalization stance, he did sign a compassionate use law that allows certain patients access to marijuana. While that law isn't particularly broad, it is an indication that there is some leeway available for lawmakers who wish to broaden decriminalization of the drug.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one is facing marijuana posession or other drug-related charges. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • I would recommend the Granger and Mueller PC. firm to my friends, family or anyone in need of criminal legal representation or advice. They have a long history of success and know how to work with the system...
  • Retained Aaron to handle my sons Possession of Marijuana charges during his senior year in high school. He was caught with 2 pot-brownies at his high school and was charged with POM in Drug Free Zone...
  • Without any hesitation, I would recommend Aaron Mueller. He is very diligent and courteous and guides you through every step-helping you understand the legal process and legal speak...
Read More Testimonials

You Have A Problem. We Can Help Solve It. For over 40 years, our criminal defense law firm has achieved favorable results for clients charged with crimes in Travis County. Fill out the form today to contact our team.

Email Us Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Don't Lose Hope. Find Out How We Can Help. Call 512-474-9999.

Granger and Mueller PC
605 West 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: 512-474-9999
Fax: 512-474-5353
Austin Law Office Map

VISA | Master Card | American Express | DISCOVER NETWORK | PayPal
Travis County Justice Center