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Despite Changing Views, Marijuana Arrests Still Lead

The Collin County Law Group Feb. 7, 2020

While most Texans are likely aware that marijuana has been legalized for medical or recreational purposes in many states, people can still face harsh penalties if they are arrested for marijuana offenses in Texas. Even though a majority of states have legalized marijuana for medical use, and 11 states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, marijuana is still the leading cause of drug arrests across the nation.

According to Pew Research, 40% of the drug arrests that occurred in the U.S. in 2018 involved marijuana. The arrests for marijuana offenses far outstripped arrests for other types of drugs. A category termed as “other drugs” accounted for 29% of drug arrests while cocaine and heroin accounted for 25% of drug arrests.

A large majority of marijuana arrests were for possession offenses. Among the arrests that occurred, 92% were for marijuana possession offenses while just 8% were for marijuana sales or manufacturing. While marijuana has been legalized for medical reasons in 33 states and the District of Columbia, Texas is not among them. It is still illegal to possess marijuana in Texas.

Despite the changes that have occurred in marijuana laws across the country, marijuana possession or sales can still result in harsh penalties. People who are charged with marijuana offenses might want to retain experienced drug defense lawyers as soon as possible. A lawyer might review the facts, evidence and circumstances to identify potential defenses that could be raised. If the lawyer finds that the stop, search or seizure in the case against their client was conducted improperly, they might file an evidentiary motion to seek the suppression of some or all of the evidence against their client. If the lawyer succeeds in their motion, it may result in a dismissal of the charges against their client.