Innocent People in Texas Are Getting Felony Arrested Over This.
The whole Delta 9 THC and Delta 8 THC situation is getting out of hand in Texas. The risks of using Delta 8, while legal for now, are not worth it.
Polls show that most Texans favor more lenient penalties for possessing marijuana-related products. They are not voting that way. Politicians in Austin are not moving toward more lenient legislation.
To make matters worse, a legal gray area exists in Texas. At the same time, Delta 9 THC is illegal. Delta 8 THC was legalized across all states with the Farm Bill of 2018. In October 2021, Texas prohibited using Delta 8 THC, but in November 2021, a judge blocked the ruling that Delta 8 was a schedule one substance.
That's why stores are still selling Delta 8 products.
This doesn't mean you're off the hook if caught with vape pens that might contain Delta 8. Until recently, law enforcement in the state did not have a reliable way to test residue in vape pens to differentiate between Delta 8 and Schedule 1 illegal THC 9.
This has led to many felony arrests, some in schools. Some local officials and school districts are making students the test case for laws concerning Delta 8 in Texas. It is destroying lives.
A felony arrest can ruin a student's chances of getting into a good college. It can stigmatize a young adult in the community. In short, this kind of arrest can be devastating. All for possessing a substance that might be legal under the current legal framework.
This has become a big issue in Comal county, as reported in the Texas Tribune.
While not a felony, it is illegal for a student or anyone under 21 to possess a vape pen unless possession occurs in the presence of an "adult parent," guardian, or spouse. The sale or distribution of vapor products to persons under 21 is already prohibited, except for adults serving in the armed forces and those born before August 31, 2001.
In addition, vaping is already prohibited in San Angelo, where smoking is prohibited. Schools must ban possessing vapor products in school, before/after school programs, or at any school event.
It is certainly not worth the risk to possess and use a Delta 8 product as a minor or an adult, even though it might be legal. When in doubt, law enforcement, in some cases, will arrest you for felony possession and leave it up to the courts to sort it out.
Even if you are eventually cleared, it can be costly financially and to your reputation.
Against the backdrop of all this, several laws are being proposed during the 2023 Texas legislative session to both liberalize and further criminalize Delta 8 THC and other THC products.
Even while voters in Denton, San Marcos, Killeen, Elgin, and Harker Heights overwhelmingly approved ballot measures to ban arrests and citations for carrying less than 4 ounces of marijuana, in most instances, elected officials have defied voters' intentions.
So much for democracy.
In the meantime, the risks of vaping Delta 8 THC are not worth it in Texas. Parents should talk to their kids about the dangers. A felony arrest is scary, especially for the young.
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