Across the US, a strange trend in recent state legislation has muddied the waters when it comes to whether marijuana possession is legal.
Texas, for instance, signed H.B. 1325 into law, a bill which intended to make hemp and CBD production legal. The bill passed in May (by an almost unanimous vote of their Republican-controlled House), and Governor Greg Abbott (otherwise known for his relatively closed-minded agendas) signed it into law in June. The idea behind the law was to increase state tax revenue by capitalizing on a new industry (what a novel concept!), while making sure that reefer madness brought on by legal THC-filled pot didn’t sweep the state.
The bill distinguishes between legal hemp and illegal pot by looking at the percentage of THC. Specifically, any plant with a percentage of 0.3 THC or greater is illegal. Anything under that is perfectly fine. Sounds perfectly clear in theory, right? Well, the problem is that Texas’s crime labs do not currently have the technology to actually determine the amount of THC present in a particular sample (at least not to the exact degree that the bill’s wording requires).
As such, the Texas District & County Attorneys Association has instructed the state’s prosecuting offices that there’s not much they can do, so the police have not been able to make arrests for suspected marijuana possession. For now, they’re stuck writing you a ticket and sending you on your merry way. The state is apparently racing to develop adequate THC-testing technology, but lucky for us, it won’t be ready until 2020 at the absolute earliest.
But Texas isn’t alone--several states have been making the same mistake. Tennessee, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia have all passed similar bills, with similar snafus.
It may not last forever, but for now, light it up.