Marijuana Possession Arrests Plummet In Texas After Hemp Legalization, New State Data Shows

Marijuana Possession Arrests Plummet In Texas After Hemp Legalization, New State Data Shows

Marijuana possession arrests fell almost 30 percent in Texas from 2018 to 2019, new state data shows, and that trend seems connected to the legalization of the plant’s non-intoxicating cousin hemp. While marijuana remains illegal in Texas, the policy change around hemp in mid-2019 created complications for law enforcement since the two forms of the cannabis crop are often indistinguishable to the naked eye. Police have said that, because of this, they can’t consistently charge people without conducting lab analyses of seized cannabis for THC content. According to data released last week by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), that appears to have led to a significant decline in marijuana arrests. In 2018, there were about 63,000 marijuana prosecutions in the state—and that went down to just over 45,000 arrests in 2019. Prosecutors have dismissed hundreds of low-level cannabis cases since hemp was legalized. And state officials announced in February that labs wouldn’t be performing testing in misdemeanor cases, with DPS saying it “will not have the capacity to accept those.” Cannabis manufacturing arrests also dropped significantly since hemp’s legalization—from about 2,700 in 2018 to about 1,900 in 2019. Texas lawmakers legalized hemp in 2019. Earlier this year, we spoke to lawmakers, crime lab scientists, criminal defense attorneys and hemp entrepreneurs about it. pic.twitter.com/oOZLA8mm1Z — Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) September 9, 2020 Municipalities across the state have jumped at the chance to push through local cannabis reforms in recent months. The El Paso City Council approved a measure in May…

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Source : MJ moment
Link to original : Marijuana Possession Arrests Plummet In Texas After Hemp Legalization, New State Data Shows
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