DALLAS-FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney has dismissed more than 200 marijuana possession cases in the past two weeks.
Prosecutors across the state may soon as well.
The Texas Legislature voted overwhelmingly this past session to legalize hemp farming.
“With many laws there are unintended consequences. This law is absolutely no exception,” said attorney Colin McLaughlin.
McLaughlin said the new law distinguishes hemp from marijuana by defining it as cannabis with less than .3 percent THC.
The problem is most crime labs can only tell if a product has THC in it. Not how much.
Dallas Police tell CBS 11, chiefs of police from throughout Dallas County met with the DA this week to discuss this and that they are currently identifying procedural changes needed to address the new laws.
The Tarrant County Criminal DA’s Office said it has dismissed about 235 cases since June 10.
“I wouldn’t want to proceed as a prosecutor on a case if i couldn’t prove it,” said David Sloane, an attorney for NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
He warns the dismissed cases could refiled, once more specific testing is available, but he says the problems with the law don’t end there.
“It raises other implications. What about drug dogs that have been trained to smell marijuana? If they’re alerting to something that;s legal, I would say they’re not,” said Sloane.
The Dallas County Crime Lab, which handles the majority of Dallas Police cases, says it won’t accept any new marijuana cases until it can get the necessary technology to test THC concentration levels.