Cannabis consumption will not, anytime soon, be a legal justification for forgetting the Alamo. After some hopeful weeks when two pieces of legislation were corralled through the Texas state government like a couple of tamed steer, the bills were killed and gutted, then thrown into the meat grinder that is our metaphor for some state representative’s paper shredder.
House Bill 507 was intended to decriminalize cannabis, replacing criminal charges, which could result in arrest and jail time, with a simple fine for possession of up to an ounce. That legislation had already been passed 4-2 in an initial vote by the Texas House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, giving supporters a glimmer of hope.
Another bill, also passed by the T.H.C.O.C.J., would have made cannabis straight up legal for adults and minors under the supervision of parents (whaaaat?). But it was not meant to be. At least not now.
Neither house bills were actually voted down. Neither were voted on at all. Their vote was never scheduled by House Calendar Committee chair Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi). As the “deadline for advancing bills out of committee for consideration by the House passed last week,” that means they won’t be voted on. Ever. Or at least not until they’re re-introduced. And so they’ve passed on to that great House Calendar Committee in the sky.
That leaves one lone straggler maverick mutt of a cannabis law left still pending in the state legislature. That would be House Bill 892/Senate Bill 339, a poorly phrased and insufficiently permissive piece of work that would allow only CBD-favoring strains of mary jane to be used by medical marijuana patients, and then only after they’ve received a proper prescription from a doctor.
The prescription business is particularly weird. It breaks with federal law, which forbids the prescription of cannabis. That’s why states with a medical marijuana program usually employ the work-around of a doctor’s “recommendation” or “certification.”
So, no legal weed. No decriminalized. Maybe CBD-strains that put doctors in prison, but probably not. Looks like law-abiding Texans will just have to make due with Lone Star beer and Friday night football for now.