Marijuana and Texas Drug Courts
In 2001, the 77th Texas state legislature passed House Bill 1287, authorizing the County Commissioners’ Courts to establish drug courts for individuals arrested for alcohol and drug offenses. Drug courts are a relatively new component of the American judicial system, operating in certain states since the 1990s. Statistics show that drug courts greatly reduce the rate of recidivism and cost to taxpayers compared to conventional courts and traditional prison sentences. For more information about the use of drug courts in Texas, see this Overview of Drug Courts in Texas prepared by the Criminal Justice Policy Council.
Drug courts sometimes refer participants to a marijuana program in order to treat their marijuana dependence rather than punish them for it. Marijuana rehab centers are private entities that must adhere to state guidelines for treating drug court participants. Despite the state guidelines, Texas drug courts are relatively independent of one another. Each has its own procedures and requirements for individuals to participate. Contact an experienced Texas marijuana lawyer or Texas criminal lawyer for the specific eligibility requirements of your local drug court.
There are several benefits to participating in Texas drug court:
- You can attend a treatment program instead of going to jail or prison
- You have a greater likelihood of remaining drug-free after the program
- Your marijuana charges will be dismissed if you successfully complete the program
- You have some choice over which treatment program you attend
However, certain things can disqualify you from attending some Texas drug courts:
- If the charges you face involve a crime of violence or the threat of violence
- If you have prior convictions
- If your marijuana offense includes a DUI
Keep in mind that you will not be allowed to participate in any Texas drug court if your marijuana-related crime does not include an addiction problem. For instance, individuals charged with selling marijuana cannot attend drug court. Offenders are screened by court staff or other agencies to determine whether or not they have a marijuana substance abuse problem.
Even if the penalties for your offense might not seem severe enough to warrant a marijuana treatment program, drug court still gives you the benefit of having the charges against you dropped. Getting your charges dropped and avoiding conviction means you may not have to report the incident on applications for jobs, schools, and various licenses.
Follow this link for more information about Texas Marijuana Laws and Texas Medical Marijuana Laws