Texas Marijuana Laws
Cannabis reform advocates hope that the coming years will bring changes to Texas marijuana laws, which are some of the nation’s most draconian. As it stands, there is no legal marijuana in Texas for recreational purposes. Even the state’s medicinal cannabis legislation is highly restrictive, allowing cannabidiol with low THC levels only to treat severe forms of epilepsy.
An experienced marijuana defense lawyer with a proven track record of defending drug offenses is a vital asset for anyone who is charged or convicted of drug possession or trafficking. Drug offenses come with serious penalties in Texas, and attorney Andrew Peveto knows exactly what’s at stake. Criminal convictions for low-level marijuana possession can result in driver’s license suspension, restrict people’s employment opportunities and limit their chances of financing a college education.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety 2016 records, more than 60,000 people in Texas were arrested for marijuana possession that year. Of these arrests, more than 75 percent of the suspects were between the ages of 17 and 24. Many were likely transporting marijuana from other states like Colorado where recreational and medicinal cannabis use is legal.
Texas Marijuana Laws & Penalties
Despite extensive support for the legalization of marijuana in Texas, lawmakers have continually resisted legislative reforms. Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 illegal substance, and Texas drug laws hold that if you intentionally have “actual care, custody, control or management” of marijuana, this constitutes possession. Criminal liability for marijuana possession hinges on the quantity and type, as outlined here:
- Two ounces or less – Class B Misdemeanor; penalties include up to 180 days in county jail and a monetary fine not to exceed $2,000
- More than two ounces and less than 4 ounces — Class A Misdemeanor; punishable by up to one year in jail, or fines of no more than $4,000
- More than 4 ounces and less than 5 pounds – State Felony; penalties include up to 2 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Over 5 pounds up to and including 50 pounds – 3rd degree felony; penalties include up to 10 years in prison, or fines of up to $10,000
- 2,000 pounds or less or more than 50 pounds – 2nd degree felony; penalties include up to 20 years in prison, or a fine not to exceed $10,000
- Over 2,000 pounds – 1st degree felony; punishable with a fine of up to $50,000, and between 5 and 99 years in prison
Traveling with marijuana into Texas
What about traveling across state lines with marijuana, hash or edibles that you legally purchased? There are now 30 states where medical cannabis is legal. While there are no police checkpoints between Texas and Colorado, the fact remains that it’s unlawful to bring marijuana into Texas, and in some cases, you could even be charged for drug trafficking.
In Texas, the possession of marijuana edibles, extracts or THC containing products other than the actual cannabis plant carry even more severe penalties. If caught with a small amount of THC extract, you could face a felony conviction. Right now, if you are caught carrying less than a gram of THC extract or edibles, the penalties include up to 2 years in state jail and fines of up to $10,000. Anything over 400 grams comes with a potential lifetime jail sentence and fines of up to $50,000.
In some cases, prosecutors may attempt to elevate a possession charge to that of drug trafficking, citing circumstantial evidence. In other words, possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute. If police found large amounts of cash, scales or other paraphernalia that point to drug sales, one could be slapped with a drug trafficking charge.
Raising a strong criminal defense
Texas drug trafficking laws prohibit anyone from knowingly manufacturing, delivering, or possessing a controlled substance, such as marijuana, with an intent to sell or distribute. A conviction can lead to years of incarceration and a lifetime of hampered opportunities for good jobs, housing, and other basic freedoms.
Whether you’re facing a marijuana possession or drug trafficking conviction, drug charge defense lawyer Andrew Peveto can raise a strong defense and protect your legal rights. You can end up behind bars if caught with weed or edibles that you legally purchased in another state. Texas marijuana laws are complex and come with harsh criminal consequences. As another example, if you are caught with marijuana brownies, you can be penalized based on the total weight of the baked goods rather than the amount of THC.
If you are arrested on drug charges or are facing an arrest warrant in Dallas or Collin County, you can count on skilled representation from Peveto Law office. Schedule a private consultation free of charge at our Plano law office to discuss your options and the allegations against you.
- Dallas Observer, What Will 2019 Bring for Marijuana Law Reform in Texas? https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/texas-marijuana-laws-2019-legislature-preview-11382836
- Houston Chronicle, Marijuana activists ‘thrilled’ as Gov. Abbott proposes no jail time for possession https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/article/Marijuana-activists-thrilled-as-Gov-Abbott-13282478.php
- Texas Statutes, CHAPTER 481. TEXAS CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/HS/htm/HS.481.htm