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Medical Marijuana

Medical Marijuana in Texas

Attitudes towards marijuana use have changed over the last ten years. However, recreational marijuana is still illegal in Texas. Instead, Texas is one of the 31 states in the U.S. that allows marijuana to be consumed for medicinal purposes. If a person needs medical marijuana, he or she must have a valid prescription from a doctor.

The 2015 Texas Compassionate Use Act in conjunction with the passage of Senate Bill 339, allows Texans to use low-THC cannabis to treat epilepsy. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has a secure registry of physicians who are allowed to write prescriptions to those suffering from intractable epilepsy.

Despite all this recent legislation, having a prescription for medical marijuana is not a valid defense in court. A person carrying marijuana for medicinal purposes may still be charged with possession or possession with intent to distribute.

If you or someone you know has been criminally charged for possessing medical marijuana, it is vital that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Medical Marijuana Attorneys in San Antonio, Texas

Low-THC marijuana usage is legal in Texas with a valid prescription. However, Texas laws have not updated alongside medical marijuana legislation. If you have been arrested for an alleged cannabis crime but had a valid prescription, it is crucial that you seek trusted legal representation.

The attorneys at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC are experienced in criminal defense. Our attorneys understand the logistics of medical marijuana laws. Find an attorney who doesn’t only work hard, but cares for you. Call an attorney at (210) 899-7566 today for a free consultation. Flanary Law Firm, PLLC defends clients throughout the greater San Antonio area including Leon Valley, Kirby, Live Oak, Terrell Hills, and Universal City.

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Medical Marijuana Legislation in Texas

On June 1, 2015, the Texas Compassionate Use Act became law through, the Senate Bill 339. This was the first time that Texas allowed medical marijuana usage in the state. Senate Bill 339 allows patients to have access to low-THC cannabis under Texas Occupations Code § 169.001.

The medical marijuana must contain the following to be admissible:

  • No more than .05 percent by weight of THC; and
  • No less than 10 percent by weight of CBD.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive chemical found naturally in cannabis. CBD has soothing medical benefits such as pain and nausea relief. The chemical CBD has been known to ease seizures and has cancer-fighting properties. This is why the Texas Compassionate Use Act allows medical marijuana for epilepsy patients.

However, the chemical in cannabis called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does create some controversy. THC is a psychoactive constituent of marijuana. Consuming THC can affect the brain’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). THC can cause light hallucinogenic effects and create a “high” feeling in users.

The Texas Compassionate Act allows qualified physicians to prescribe low-THC cannabis. Legislation only allows patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy to have access to medical marijuana. Additionally, only physicians on the Compassionate Use Registry are allowed to prescribe cannabis. Patients with a prescription are limited to how they can consume the medical marijuana. Smoking is prohibited, and instead CBD oils are used to administer cannabis.

How to Obtain a Medical Marijuana Card in Texas

Texas has some of the strictest laws when it comes to medical marijuana. The following is what a patient must do to be able to obtain a Texas Medical Marijuana Card:

  • Must be a permanent resident of Texas;
  • Must be diagnosed by a doctor with intractable epilepsy;
  • A qualified physician under the Compassionate Use Registry determines the risk of the medical use of low-THC cannabis is reasonable in light of the potential benefit for the patient; and
  • A second qualified physician under the Compassionate Use Registry has concurred with the determination.
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Why Choose Flanary Law Firm, PLLC?

  • Constant Communication
    At our firm, we always want our clients to feel empowered when defending against criminal charges. We aim to constantly communicate with our clients, answering questions and taking feedback as we progress through the case. We are always here to answer your questions or adjust your legal strategy as needed.
  • A History of Results
    With multiple decades of experience between our attorneys, we have a history of proven results and happy clients. We always aim to get a criminal case dismissed or have the charges lowered to reduce any penalties our clients are facing. We are confident we can get you the results you deserve.
  • Experience You Can Count On
    At our firm, we pride ourselves on the diverse range of criminal cases we have worked on. From federal felony charges to state misdemeanors, we know exactly how to build a defense strategy that's right for you. Our team can handle even the most complex cases and are willing to be flexible with our strategies.
  • Advice on Your Timeline
    We understand that all criminal cases work at different paces. Whether you are just looking around for a lawyer because you're under investigation or you need immediate representation, our team can help. We will work with you no matter where you are in the process to protect your rights.
  • Free Initial Consultations
    We understand that hiring a criminal defense attorney is a big decision that many people need time to make. That's why we offer all our potential clients a free consultation to see if we're the right legal team for them. We will review your case and begin building a legal strategy to defend your rights.
  • Personalized Legal Defense Strategies
    All criminal cases are different, so our dense strategies are too. We would never re-use a legal strategy from one client to the next because your case is too unique. We will always build a defense strategy that's personalized and effective for you to get the outcome you deserve.

Necessity Defense in Bexar County for Medical Marijuana

The necessity defense is an affirmative defense found under justifications in Texas Penal Code § 9.22. When an alleged offender asserts a necessity defense, the jury will be instructed that the alleged conduct was justified under the law of necessity if:

  • The alleged offender reasonably believes the conduct is immediately necessary to avoid imminent harm;
  • The desirability and urgency of avoiding the harm clearly outweigh, according to ordinary standards of reasonableness, the harm sought to be prevented by the law prescribing the conduct; and
  • A legislative purpose to exclude the justification claimed for the conduct does not otherwise plainly appear.

This means it is possible for a person to use the necessity defense for using medical marijuana in the court of law. If a person is in serious pain and suffering due to an illness, he or she may be able to argue that the marijuana was used out of necessity. The urgency to avoid the pain and suffering clearly outweighed the harm caused by possessing marijuana.

The term “reasonable belief” is defined under Texas law as a belief that would be held by an ordinary and prudent person in the same circumstances as the actor.

Take note, possession of up to two ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor. The penalty for a Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 180 days in jail, and a possible fine of up to $2,000. Possession of a greater quantity results in enhanced penalties, which can escalate to felony charges.

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