Lack of Funding Means No DPS Testing for Misdemeanor Marijuana Cases
In 2020, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced that it would not have the capacity to accept and test misdemeanor marijuana cases. The Department had reportedly asked for additional funding to allow them to test for THC to determine whether the substance qualified as hemp or marijuana.
At Maverick Ray & Associates, we fight for our clients. While the possession and use of recreational marijuana remain illegal in Texas, there are defenses to these drug charges. Our attorneys will help protect your rights and work hard to get the best possible outcome in your case. If you were arrested on marijuana charges, contact our office today at (281) 947-2007 to schedule a free consultation.
What Does It Mean If Texas Won’t Test for THC?
As we explained on TikTok, in 2019 the State of Texas passed the Farm Bill, changing the definition of marijuana to anything with over .3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the chemical component of marijuana that makes someone feel “high.” Hemp, which looks and smells like marijuana, is considered legal if it has .3% or less of THC.
However, since the substances look and smell the same, it is impossible to tell the THC in a sampling of the plant without testing. As explained by our lawyers, the state did not “develop the labs to differentiate what is now a legal substance and this new illegal substance of .3% or greater.”
Why Are State Labs Not Testing for THC in Low-Level Cases?
As reported by the Texas Tribune, state labs run by the Texas Department of Public Safety are not testing suspected marijuana in low-level cases due to inadequate funding. They have stated in a February 2020 letter to laboratory clients that they will not perform testing to distinguish between hemp and marijuana in misdemeanor cases.
While recreational marijuana containing more than .3% THC remains illegal, hemp is legal. It can be difficult to convict on a misdemeanor marijuana case because THC levels in hemp and marijuana require testing.
Will My Misdemeanor Marijuana Case be Dismissed?
While marijuana cases have dropped statewide, many are still prosecuted. Across Texas, law enforcement agencies are handling marijuana cases differently. Some agencies use private labs to test, others rely on state labs. Therefore, it is difficult to determine whether your case will be reduced or dismissed without speaking to an attorney familiar with how drug offenses are handled in your area.
It is always in your best interest to speak with an attorney as early in the process as possible. An attorney can help fight the charges against you. You should always consult with an attorney before entering a plea to determine whether you are receiving the best possible disposition in your case.
Arrested for a Marijuana Offense? Contact Our Office Today.
Were you arrested on marijuana charges in Houston or the surrounding areas? Contact our office today at (281) 947-2007 to speak directly with an attorney. All consultations are free and without obligation to retain our services. Let us fight for you and your rights. Call now to get started.