What is the minimum amount of marijuana a person must have to violate Texas marijuana laws? A person possesses marijuana if they possess a “usable quantity” of the substance. Courts have defined the term “usable quantity” differently. One court defined it as an amount that is sufficient for the common use of marijuana. Other courts define “usable quantity” as enough marijuana to roll in a cigarette or smoke in a pipe. Both of these definitions require enough marijuana that a person can smoke. Texas courts have not said an exact weight is not usable. Jurors now decide whether a quantity is usable. Jurors must rely largely on evidence from police officers.
Will the legislature create new Texas marijuana laws to simplify this issue?
Other states have legalized marijuana in recent years. Members of the Texas legislature tried to focus on this issue with marijuana and cocaine. House Bill 2914 would have created a minimum weight of cocaine that a person must possess to commit a criminal offense.
Additionally, House Bill 184 would have created a new offense. Possession of one ounce or less of marijuana would have been punishable as a Class C misdemeanor. Class C misdemeanors are punishable by a fine only. Offenders would receive a ticket, and report to court later. Currently, possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana is a class B misdemeanor. Police arrest individuals caught with marijuana. Then, the individual can be punished by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of $2,000.00.
Neither, the Texas House or Senate passed these measures. The legislature will need to address this issue. Otherwise, Texas marijuana laws will allow the police to arrest someone for having almost any amount of marijuana. Until new laws pass, possession of marijuana will still be a jailable offense.
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