Montgomery County District Attorney to continue marijuana prosecutions despite hemp legalization

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Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon said he will continue to pursue marijuana prosecutions in the wake of hemp legalization, according to a July 2 press release.

Ligon said while House Bill 1325 legalizes hemp and hemp-derived products, the proper rules and regulations have not been established.

“At this point no licenses have been issued and no legal hemp is being grown in the state,” Ligon said.

Signed by Gov. Abbot on June 10, the bill legalizes products containing no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive element in marijuana known as THC.

Ligon said although there is a shortage in laboratories to determine whether products are below the 0.3% maximum, that “does not justify prosecutors’ abdication of their responsibility to enforce the criminal laws of Texas.”

Ligon’s press release comes after Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a different press release she would no longer accept charges for misdemeanor possession of marijuana without a test showing the evidence seized is above the 0.3% maximum.

Ogg said because the bill changes the definition of hemp to parts or derivatives of cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, this changes how prosecutors must approach all marijuana cases.

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Andy Li
Originally from Boone, North Carolina, Andy Li is a graduate of East Carolina University with degrees in Communication with a concentration in journalism and Political Science. While in school, he worked as a performing arts reporter, news, arts and copy editor and a columnist at the campus newspaper, The East Carolinian. He also had the privilege to work with NPR’s Next Generation Radio, a project for student journalists exploring radio news. Moving to Houston in May 2019, he now covers the Conroe Independent School District, Montgomery City Council and transportation.
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