On June 10, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1325, which effectively creates a legal distinction between hemp products and marijuana. The new law has had an unintentional effect, however. It has thrown the offices of numerous prosecutors into disarray. Many have been forced to drop charges against hundreds of Texans accused of marijuana possession in cases where the quantity of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a product is unknown.
Texas lawmakers are making changes in the law that will allow broader use of hemp products, including some CBD (cannabidiol) oils in over-the-counter products.
There are very few people who believe that prosecuting addicts for possessing small amounts of drugs and handing them hefty prison sentences is doing anything to change the national drug problem. Now, at least one Texas district attorney is taking measures to re-write the rules on how certain drug cases are handled.
Americans are suffering. The rates of death due to drug addiction, alcoholism and suicide hit record highs in 2017 -- averaging 72.4 fatalities for every 100,000 people throughout the nation.
The "Drug War" in America has been raging on for decades, and people keep going to jail on possession charges -- despite every indication that jailing people for crimes of addiction is pointless. Even worse, it is increasingly apparent that drug laws are applied unevenly against people of color.
The use of marijuana in many forms -- both medicinally and recreationally -- has gained favor throughout the United States. However, its use is still very limited in Texas.
Texas leaders have reason to celebrate: Nearly a decade after it began, a proposal that is designed to reduce drug crime and empty prisons of repeat offenders has passed the United States Senate.
There are all sorts of ways to get into legal trouble with prescription drugs these days. It's even possible that you may have already committed a drug crime without realizing it.
Texas has been very slow to decriminalize marijuana in any way, even for medicinal purposes. Meanwhile, states as diverse as Alaska, California, Colorado, Michigan and Maine have legalized the drug for recreational use to some degree.
The holidays are here, and that means millions of Americans will be traveling away from their homes in order to visit friends and relatives for a time.