A note just came into the police officers in the city of Austin, Texas. It asks them not to charge any more for possession or use of Cannabis on the public highway in the absence of other offenses. The Texas justice system is coming to understand that the repression of Cannabis was useless. Yet the people of that state are known to be among the most conservative in North America.
We take you on a ride to the land of armed but ultimately nice cowboys.
Texas is the second most populous, largest, and wealthiest state in the United States after California. It was also one of the least joking states about Cannabis.
Hemp and CBD
At the federal level since 2018, the US has legalized hemp, its derivatives and concentrates, and the full use of flowers. The regulation of US hemp, the 2018 Farm Bill, imposes on American farmers a maximum THC content of 0.3%.
From then on, the states that wished to do so were able to legalize the precious agricultural and health resource in their way.
After an administrative and political journey in Texas, the official date for the legalization of hemp is still very fresh: it was January 20, 2019, for an entry into force that was planned for March and finally held on June 10, 2019. For the most courageous, the Texan law called ‘1325’ for the regulation of hemp is here.
But the domino effect portrayed by the Texan Chamber of Agriculture went far beyond what the authorities had anticipated.
Indeed, the legalization of hemp and the explosion of the CBD market massively reduced the rate of arrests for use and possession of Cannabis.
The motivation behind this?
Police officers do not have the technological tools to make a difference on the ground.
Drop the case
In the face of a new norm in force, the Texan authorities have communicated on the rates allowed and their new policy based on rate discernment.
- Less than 3% THC it would be no prosecution.
- Above 3 of THC, it was marijuana.
But, there is no way of knowing whether the products sold legally or whether they have come from the black market, outside the original packaging.
And the authorities have only limited processing capacity to evaluate criminal samples.
So rather than move towards a judicial gridlock cataclysm, police forces turned to tolerate Cannabis. With the legalization of hemp, the number of arrests for use and possession dropped overnight.