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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
While the tide seems to be turning in many states nationwide on marijuana use, Texas law has remained consistent on the issue. All marijuana is illegal under state law, absent a narrow exception for individuals with intractable epilepsy. Although state legislators are poised to address the issue and perhaps make changes to Texas marijuana laws, an Amarillo marijuana lawyer would advise you that at present, possession or delivery of marijuana can result in criminal charges.
Under current law, a marijuana conviction could lead to years in prison, thousands in fines, suspended driving privileges, and an inability to pursue specific careers in the future. When faced with these harsh potential penalties, you may benefit from representation by an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Marijuana Laws in Amarillo
The Texas Controlled Substances Act classifies drugs into different penalty groups based on their potential for misuse, their danger to the public, and any current medicinal uses. Marijuana has a separate penalty group, which can make penalties for marijuana offenses less severe than for other drugs.
Under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.002(26), marijuana includes only the cannabis sativa plant and its seeds, as well as any compounds or derivatives of the plant or seeds. However, this definition of marijuana explicitly excludes tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, as well as any compound, mixture, or preparation containing THC. As a result, oils, edibles, teas, juices, extracts, concentrates, and other products containing THC fall into a different penalty group than marijuana with far more severe penalties.
Cannabis Possession and Delivery
Marijuana possession generally incurs lesser penalties than other drugs, mainly when it involves only a small amount of marijuana. More specifically, the penalties for marijuana possession based on weight are as follows:
- Less than two ounces – Class B misdemeanor charge
- Two to four ounces – Class A misdemeanor charge
- Four ounces to five pounds – state jail felony charge
- Five to 50 pounds – third-degree felony charge
Possession of 50 to 2,000 pounds of marijuana is a second-degree felony, and possession of more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana is a first-degree felony, which carries the potential for life in prison. The penalties for marijuana delivery are much the same as those for possession, except that the charges and penalties escalate at smaller quantities. Distribution of marijuana still may be a misdemeanor offense, but only if it involves one-fourth of an ounce or less.
While there may be the possibility of a citation, a diversion program, or other similar resolutions for misdemeanor marijuana offenses, these programs are likely not options for those facing felony charges. Due to the potentially severe penalties, anyone facing charges should consider consulting a marijuana lawyer in Amarillo.
Marijuana Products Containing THC
Since marijuana-based products that contain THC do not fall into the same penalty group as marijuana, the penalties generally are much harsher. THC products are Penalty Group 2 controlled substances. In fact, under Texas Health and Safety Code § 481.116, possession of less than one gram of a THC product may result in state jail felony charges with a potential jail sentence of up to 180 days.
Another factor that contributes to the severity of the potential sanctions for possession of substances containing THC is that the charges and accompanying penalties are based on the aggregate weight of the substance, rather than merely the weight of the THC. As a result, a small amount of THC contained within another substance could result in a more severe felony charge. Getting the advice of a marijuana attorney in Amarillo may highly beneficial when facing charges involving substances containing THC.
Call an Amarillo Marijuana Attorney for Advice
In Texas, even a small amount of marijuana could result in a jail sentence. Rather than trying to handle this matter on your own, consider seeking the services of an Amarillo marijuana lawyer. Retaining a skilled defense attorney could improve your chances of resolving your case positively.