header-logo-3    Richard   C.   McConathy  
Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
 [email protected]  
15110 Dallas Pkwy #400
  Dallas ,   Texas ,   75248   United States  
(972) 233-5700

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Medical Marijuana

Although several states across the country have legalized medical marijuana, Texas has no such regime. Anyone traveling to Texas carrying marijuana can be arrested and charged with possession or other offenses, regardless of whether they have a valid prescription. Medical marijuana is charged as either possession or possession with intent to distribute depending on the amount involved.

The cultivation of marijuana plants is also treated as possession or possession with the intent to distribute based on the total weight of the plants.

Medical Marijuana Defense Lawyer in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, TX

If you are using or growing marijuana for medical purposes, the State of Texas is not sympathetic. Legal representation is important for you to minimize the lasting consequences that can come from a marijuana charge.

Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas. Our firm will work to potentially get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed.

Medical Benefits of Cannabis

Ingesting the cannabis plants has been shown by many studies to have a wide range of pharmaceutical applications. Many of them pertain to mitigating and managing pain. Its use can also increase appetite, frequently a critical issue with chronic conditions.

Some conditions that cannabis use may help with include:

  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Cachexia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Autism 
  • Seizure disorders 
  • Terminal cancer 
  • Spasticity 
  • An incurable neurodegenerative disease 

The Texas Administrative Code defines an incurable neurodegenerative disease as a condition, injury, or illness occurring when nerve cells in the brain or peripheral nervous system lose function over time and for which there is no known cure. Qualifying physicians under Chapter 169 of the Texas Occupations Code can prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients with documented diagnoses of one or more of the following incurable neurodegenerative diseases:

  • Incurable Neurodegenerative Diseases with Pediatric Onset:
    • Mitochondrial Conditions:
      • Kearn Sayers Syndrome;
      • Mitochondrial Encephalopathy Ragged Red Fiber;
      • Mitochondrial Encephalopathy Lactic Acidosis Stroke;
      • Neuropathy, Ataxia, and Retinitis Pigmentosa;
      • Mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalopathy;
      • Polymerase G Related Disorders:
        • Alpers-Huttenlocher syndrome;
        • Childhood Myocerebrohepatopathy spectrum;
        • Myoclonic epilepsy myopathy sensory ataxia; and
        • Ataxia neuropathy spectrum;
      • Subacute necrotizing encephalopathy, also known as Leigh syndrome;
      • Respiratory chain disorders complex 1 through 4 defects: Co Q biosynthesis defects;
      • Thymidine Kinase;
      • Mitochondrial Depletion syndromes types 1 through 14:
        • Deoxyguanisine kinase deficiency;
        • SUCLG1-related mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, encephalomyopathic form with methylmalonic aciduria; and
        • RRM2B-related mitochondrial disease.
    • Creatine Disorders:
      • Guanidinoacetate methytransferase deficiency;
      • L-Arginine/glycine amidinotransferase deficiency; and
      • Creatine Transporter Defect, also known as SLC 6A8.
    • Neurotransmitter defects:
      • Segawa Disease, also known as Dopamine Responsive Dystonia;
      • Guanosine triphosphate cyclohydrolase deficiency;
      • Aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase deficiency;
      • Monoamine oxidase deficiency;
      • Biopterin Defects:
        • Pyruvoyl-tetahydropterin synthase;
        • Sepiapterin reductase;
        • Dihydropteridine reductase; and
        • Pterin-4-carbinolamine dehydratase.
    • Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation.
    • Lysosomal Storage Diseases:
      • Mucopolysaccaridosis:
        • Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I, also known as Hurler Syndrome or Scheie Syndrome;
        • Mucopolysaccharidosis Type II, also known as Hunter Syndrome;
        • Mucopolysaccharidosis Type III, also known as Sanfilippo A and B;
        • Mucopolysaccharidosis Type IV, also known as Maroteaux-Lamy; and
        • Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VII, also known as Sly.
      • Oligosaccharidoses:
        • Mannosidosis;
        • Alpha-fucosidosis;
        • Galactosialidosis;
        • Asparylglucosaminuria;
        • Schindler; and
        • Sialidosis;
      • Mucolipidoses:
        • Mucolipidoses Type II, also known as Inclusion Cell disease; and
        • Mucolipidoses Type III, also known as pseudo-Hurler polydystrophy;
      • Sphingolipidoses:
        • Gaucher Type 2 and Type 3;
        • Neimann Pick Type A and B;
        • Neimann Pick Type C;
        • Krabbe;
        • GM1 gangliosidosis;
        • GM2 gangliosidosis also known as Tay-sachs and Sandhoff Disease;
        • Metachromatic leukodystrophy;
        • Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis types 1-10 including Batten Disease; and
        • Farber Disease; and
        • Glycogen Storage-Lysosomal: Pompe Disease.
      • Peroxisomal Disorders:
        • X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy;
        • Peroxisomal biosynthesis defects:
          • Zellweger syndrome:
          • Neonatal Adrenoleukodystrophy; and
        • D Bidirectional enzyme deficiency.
      • Leukodystrophy:
        • Canavan disease;
        • Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease;
        • Alexander disease;
        • Multiple Sulfatase deficiency;
        • Polyol disorders;
        • Glycine encephalopathy, also known as non-ketotic hyperglycinemia;
        • Maple Syrup Urine Disease;
        • Homocysteine re-methylation defects;
        • Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency severe variant;
        • L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria;
        • Glutaric acidemia type 1;
        • 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA lyase deficiency;
        • Galactosemia;
        • Manosidosis alpha and beta;
        • Salidosis;
        • Peripheral neuropathy types 1 through 4;
        • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Deficiency;
        • Pyruvate Carboxylase Deficiency;
        • Refsum Disease; and
        • Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Sub-cortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy.
      • Fatty Acid Oxidation:
        • Trifunctional protein deficiency; and
        • Long-chain L-3 hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency.
      • Metal Metabolism:
        • Wilson Disease;
        • Pantothenate Kinase Associated Neurodegeneration; and
        • Neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation.
      • Purine and Pyrimidine Defects:
        • Adenylosuccinate synthase Deficiency;
        • 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleotide transformylase deficiency;
        • Hypoxanthine-guanine phosophoribosyltransferase Deficiency also known as Lesch-Nyhan disease;
        • Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase Deficiency; and
        • Dihydropirimidinase Deficiency.
  • Incurable Neurodegenerative Diseases with Adult Onset:
    • Motor Neuron Disease:
      • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;
      • Spinal-bulbar muscular atrophy; and
      • Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
    • Muscular Dystrophies:
      • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy;
      • Central Core; and
      • Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy.
    • Freidreich’s Ataxia.
    • Vascular dementia.
    • Charcot Marie Tooth and related hereditary neuropathies.
    • Spinocerebellar ataxia.
    • Familial Spastic Paraplegia.
    • Progressive dystonias DYT genes 1 through 20.
    • Progressive Choreas: Huntington’s Disease.
    • Amyloidoses:
      • Alzheimer’s Disease;
      • Prion Diseases:
        • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease;
        • Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker Disease;
        • Familial or Sporadic Fatal Insomnia; and
    • Kuru.
    • Tauopathies.
      • Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy:
      • Pick Disease;
      • Globular Glial Tauopathy;
      • Corticobasal Degeneration;
      • Progressive Supranuclear Palsy;
      • Argyrophilic Grain Disease;
      • Neurofibrillary Tangle dementia, also known as Primary Age-related Tauopathy; and
      • Frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 caused by mutations in MAPT gene.
    • Synucleinopathies:
      • Lewy Body Disorders:
        • Dementia with Lewy Bodies; and
        • Parkinson’s Disease; and
      • Multiple System Atrophy.
    • Transactive response DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43) Proteinopathies:
      • Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration;
      • Primary Lateral Sclerosis; and
      • Progressive Muscular Atrophy.

medical marijuana

Medical Marijuana Prescriptions

Patients can obtain prescribed Low-THC cannabis when:  

  • They are permanent residents of Texas  
  • They have one of the medical conditions listed above 
  • A CUP registered physician prescribes the cannabis
  • The same qualified physician decides the benefits outweighs the risks

There is no age limit for prescriptions. Patients under 18, however, require the approval of a legal guardian.  

Getting a prescription can involve:  

  • A physician entering a prescription in the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT)
  • The patient or legal guardian going afterward to any licensed dispensary to get the prescription
  • The patient or legal guardian providing ID and patient’s, last name, date of birth, and last five digits of their Social Security Number

A physician’s qualifications to prescribe low-THC are outlined under Section A169.002 of Senate Bill 339. A physician is qualified to prescribe low-THC cannabis to a patient with intractable epilepsy when the physician:

  • is licensed in accordance with state law
  • dedicates a significant portion of clinical practice to the evaluation and treatment of epilepsy
  • is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in epilepsy, or neurology or neurology with special qualification in child neurology and is otherwise qualified for the examination for certification in epilepsy, or in neurophysiology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology or the American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology

A physician described by Section A169.002 can prescribe low-THC cannabis to alleviate a patient ’s seizures if:

  • the patient is a permanent resident of Texas
  • the physician complies with the registration requirements of Section 169.004
  • the physician certifies to the department that:
    • the patient is diagnosed with intractable epilepsy;
    • the physician determines the risk of the medical use of low-THC cannabis by the patient is reasonable in light of the potential benefit for the patient; and
    • a second physician qualified to prescribe low-THC cannabis under Section 169.002 has concurred with the determination under Paragraph (B), and the second physician’s concurrence is recorded in the patient’s medical record

Medical Marijuana Defenses

Activists in Texas are working to advance a bill that would make marijuana use for medical purposes as advised by a doctor to be an affirmative defense for certain amounts of marijuana possession. An affirmative defense, if proven, would require the charges against you to be dismissed.

Currently, though, juries do not take into account why you were in possession of marijuana when deciding the case, just that you knowingly had possession.

Until a law passes to allow medical marijuana, the best defense is a lawyer experienced in the methods of investigation, search, and seizure. If law enforcement oversteps their bounds, evidence can be excluded from the trial which can cause their case to be unwinnable.

There are several likelihoods for marijuana possession charges including community service, a diversionary program, suspension of your driver’s license, probation, or jail time. The conviction may be dismissed from your record if you are able to successfully complete a deferred sentence.

Tarrant County Resources for Medical Marijuana

Texas Medical Marijuana ― This state website provides an overview of Texas medical marijuana laws including definitions, an explanation of CURT, and a marijuana law guide. You can also find information about the CUP that includes an overview, laws and regulations, and licensing and registration. When searching for registered physicians in CURT, you can visit the official CURT website provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety and should provide a search tool or database where you can find registered physicians authorized to prescribe low-THC cannabis.

Texas cancer patients and people with PTSD will soon be able to join state’s expanded medical marijuana program ― View an August 11, 2021 article from the Texas Tribune reporting that the Texas Compassionate Use Program planned to expand to include people with PTSD and cancer of all stages, allowing them to use “low-THC cannabis.” The state’s cannabis program was serving less than 6,000 people as of May, and the new law expanded to include veterans with PTSD and an estimated 114,000 Texans who have cancer, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The new Texas law not only expanded the state’s cannabis program but also doubled the percent of THC allowed in products to 1 percent.

Find A Dallas County Defense Attorney for Medical Marijuana Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas. Our firm will work to potentially get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed.

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