This is an interesting twist to the avalanche of states passing legislation legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana nationwide. It seems Texas lawmakers have inadvertently made it damn near impossible to file charges against those found to be in possession of marijuana — which, in some counties, at least, is as good as legalizing it.
Texas is renowned for its harsh drug laws. In fact, more than sixty thousand Texans were arrested on charges related to marijuana possession in 2017 — a whopping eight percent of total arrests. Now, thanks to new hemp legislation, that number is dropping fast.
So it’s a hemp bill. What’s the harm?
In 2018 U.S. lawmakers passed a federal Farm Bill which removed hemp from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of Schedule I controlled substances. Hemp, as you probably know by now, is the same plant as marijuana, but hemp is bred to be essentially devoid of THC, the intoxicating compound found in pot.
In an effort to take advantage of the situation and begin building a hemp market in the state (after four score decades of prohibition), Texas lawmakers passed bill H.B. 1325, legalizing the cultivation, processing, sale, and possession of hemp. However, they never dreamed that they would be causing such…