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Is legal purchase a valid defense to Texas marijuana charges?

Aug 8, 2016 | Drug Possession

The short answer is no. And you should know that Texas has some of the harshest penalties in the country for marijuana possession.


If you purchased marijuana in a state where it is now legal, take care when you return to Texas. Thousands of arrests for the possession of drugs occur every year in the state. Many of the arrests are related to the possession of marijuana. And often it’s a small amount (less than two ounces).

You may have a hard time believing this, but the misdemeanor possession of two ounces or less could cost you as much as $2,000 in fines and land you in jail for up to 180 days.

What about medical marijuana?

If you are certified or recommended to use medical marijuana through a doctor in another state, don’t expect that paperwork to protect you from prosecution in Texas. While Governor Greg Abbott did pass a law that opens the door to medical marijuana in this state, there are many limitations to the program:

  • Only patients with retractable epilepsy are eligible
  • Only marijuana extracts with trace amounts of THC are eligible
  • Doctors must prescribe the marijuana, which places them in danger of federal charges

At this point, the law benefits very few people, and it definitely doesn’t make out-of-state medical marijuana legal in this state.

According to a recent report by KBTX, a former NFL defensive player Mark Wheeler was arrested on a Texas A&M campus for marijuana and cocaine possession. He claimed the marijuana had been prescribed. Whether or not a marijuana cigarette was prescribed as medical marijuana in another state may not help his case under current state laws.

Because of the harsh penalties for possessing even a small amount of marijuana in Texas, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows the law and how to defend your rights.

The attorneys at the Mingledorff Law Firm are former prosecutors with decades of criminal defense experience. If you or someone you love is currently facing a drug charge, schedule a free consultation.