- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas is taking its first step toward easing limits on medical marijuana - even as it imposes bans on synthetic forms of the drug.

A measure allowing some epilepsy patients to get low-THC cannabis oil, Texas’ first concession on medical marijuana, is one of nearly 700 new laws taking effect Tuesday.

Also kicking in are laws strengthening restrictions on synthetic marijuana.

So are laws scrapping criminal penalties for skipping school and ending the “pick-a-pal” grand jury system, which critics said created conflicts of interest.

Elected officials accused of ethics crimes will now be tried in their home counties and “revenge porn,” or posting explicit pictures of ex-lovers online, becomes a crime.

Also newly criminalized is using a drone on Capitol grounds.

But Texans can use concealed-handgun licenses as valid IDs.

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