What to Know
- Mansfield ISD officials say the warning was sent mainly to inform parents of the health risks associated with e-cigarettes.
- In Tarrant County, prosecutors have said even THC-free CBD products could lead to a misdemeanor charge.
- CBD makers are pushing back, saying Texas law is unclear. Urging law enforcement to wait for guidance from the state legislature.
The Mansfield Independent School District has issued a notice to parents, warning them that their kids could face felony charges for bringing CBD oil to school.
Parts of Mansfield are in Tarrant County, where NBC 5 Investigates has reported that prosecutors pledged to prosecute people for possessing CBD.
The warning was part of a memo to parents expressing concern about a growing number of teens using e-cigarettes, and even vaping products that contain CBD oil.
Some law enforcement officials insist the oil is illegal in Texas, despite the fact that it's sold in stores throughout the state.
"It's an offense, obviously, per state law. But you're going to be charged with a felony, as a child?" asked Misty Flores, the mother of five students in Mansfield schools, the oldest at Lake Ridge High School.
The school district's warning definitely got Flores' attention, especially the part about CBD and the risk of students possibly being charged with a crime.
Mansfield ISD officials declined to speak on camera, but told NBC 5 Investigates the warning was sent mainly to inform parents of the health risks associated with e-cigarettes.
However, the only section of the letter in bold print is the part that says, "Any student caught on school grounds with an e-cigarette that has been positively tested for CBD… will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor."
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And if the e-cigarette contains any THC, the intoxicating substance in marijuana, "that student will be charged with a felony."
CBD oil sometimes contains small amount of THC, but not enough to get high.
Still, some Texas law enforcement officials believe all CBD oil is illegal in Texas. And in Tarrant County, the district attorney's office says it will prosecute.
Last month, Larry Moore, a senior prosecutor in the DA's office, said: "It's illegal. And until the legislature changes that, it's going to continue to be illegal."
CBD makers are pushing back, saying Texas law is unclear. They urge law enforcement officials to not take action until the state legislature gives more guidance.
"That's why it's critical that our legislators respond and take care of this problem simply by passing the hemp law," said Sheila Hemphill, program director for the Texas Hemp Industries Association.
Such passage, Hemphill said, would "harmonize our state law with the federal farm bill that just passed."
A bill is pending in the state legislature that would make CBD legal.
Flores said the school warning has motivated her to talk to her children.
"I'm definitely going to be talking to my kids about vaping, all of that… with CBD oil," she said.