The Reason DAs Aren’t Prosecuting Marijuana Cases in Texas
Last week I did a blog about Texas Governor Greg Abbott urging district attorneys to keep prosecuting marijuana cases. But, there's a distinct reason why the DAs aren't prosecuting a growing amount of cases.
First, we need to backtrack a bit to a bill that was signed into law by Gov. Abbott. The new law made it legal to grow and sell hemp products. No, that's not the same as marijuana. And state law makes were pretty clear on that.
“This is no slippery slope toward marijuana,” Charles Perry, a Republican state senator who sponsored the bill, said in May, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Well, yes and no. The law doesn't give any right to grow or sell marijuana. But, it has caused a big problem for DAs. They don't have the time or lab equipment to differentiate between legal hemp, and illegal marijuana. So rather than deal with the hassle, DAs are just dropping the case.
It's not just misdemeanors either. Travis Country district attorney, Margaret Moore, recently said that she'd be dismissing 32 felony possession and and delivery of marijuana under the new law.
Before, it was simpler to decide if something was illegal or not. It took just a few minutes to determine if the seized substance contained cannabinoids. Now the labs have to be able to test the amount of THC in the product. That process is far more involved and costly.
Is marijuana still illegal in the state of Texas? Yes. But the law that legalized hemp products is already having affects on marijuana cases.