Posted on

Possession of a Controlled Substance in Houston

Drug Possession

In Texas, the Texas Controlled Substances Act sets the different severities and punishments of being charged with possession of controlled drugs. 

In comparison to other states, Texas has some of the harshest drug possession laws and penalties in the country. 

What is a controlled substance in Houston

Texas law classifies five different categories of drugs. Each group has its own rules and penalties. It is also important to note that marijuana is classified independently from these four classes of drugs. 

The Texas Controlled Substances Act categorizes substances in five “schedules” based on their potential for abuse. Schedule 1 drugs are the most strictly regulated and subsequently punished for abuse or possession. The five schedules are classified as the following: 

Schedule 1: Includes LSD, heroin, and ecstasy.

Schedule 2: Induces Methamphetamine and Cocaine. 

Schedule 3: Includes anabolic steroids, ketamine, unprescribed testosterone.

Schedule 4: Includes Valium, Ambien, and Xanax.

Schedule 5: includes Lyrica and various cough suppressants.

Marijuana possession is classified as a “light” Class B misdemeanor. It can carry a sentence of a fine of no more than $10,000 or up to 180 days in jail for possession of two ounces or less. These penalties increase substantially if you are found with over 2,000 of marijuana. At this quantity, you can be hit with a fine of up to $50,000 and a life sentence in prison. 

Drug possession charges are also broken down into two additional categories: simple possession, which includes possession for personal use, and possession with intent to distribute. Possession with intent to distribute carries significantly higher penalties than simple possession charges. 

Penalties for possessing a controlled substance in Texas

To be found guilty, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant was knowingly and intentionally in possession of a controlled substance upon arrest. 

The penalties for drug possession in Texas will vary based on five factors: the type of drug, the quantity, how the drug was concealed, whether or not you had other drugs or paraphernalia, and if you have past drug convictions. 

Drugs that carry a Class B or Class A misdemeanor result in a penalty of a fine of no more than $4,000 and up to a year in county jail. The exact punishment will vary depending on the drug in question. Depending on how much of the drug is found, the penalty can change from a third-degree felony to a first-degree felony. The highest penalty given to a first-degree drug felony is 99 year to life in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. 

What to do if you’ve been found in possession of a controlled substance 

Remember to always speak to an attorney to get the most up to date legal information, and specific information regarding your case. Don’t rely on advice on the internet to give you information that applies to your case since every instance will be different. If you are in Houston facing a drug possession charge, call the offices of Christoper T. Gore for information on legal representation and what potential penalties you may be facing. 

Posted on

CBD Oil & the Texas Compassionate Use Act

There’s a lot of buzz around the growing CBD and cannabis industry, and the effects CBD oil can have on people dealing with various ailments. While the industry is growing and becoming more mainstream, there are still a lot of unanswered questions around it, which can cause quite a bit of confusion with consumers, especially in the state of Texas.

The Texas Compassionate Use Act, Explained

The Texas Compassionate Use Act, passed in 2015, established a registry of physicians use low-THC cannabis to treat patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy. This legislation raised some questions about how this impacts residents and public safety.  As of this year, this law only covers the medical use of low-THC cannabis as prescribed by a physician and strictly excludes “smoking” as a form of consumption.

The Compassionate Use Act is limited and only applies to patients in the state of Texas with intractable epilepsy.

In 2017, the Texas Department of Public Safety issued licenses to three organizations that have the legal right to dispense low-THC products to qualified patients. The permits gave these specific organizations the authority to grow, process and distribute low-THC cannabis to patients with a valid prescription. Currently, these three organizations include Cansortium Texas, Compassionate Cultivation and, Surterra Texas.

If the state determines a greater need for access to more registered organizations, then they will begin the process of reviving and issuing additional licenses.

Once a physician issues a prescription, the organization then dispenses the product which includes a label with information that would assist law enforcement in confirming the legitimacy of the medicine and present proof of the patients legal right to possession of the product.

This Act does not give private citizens the right to grow their own cannabis, even if it is a low-THC strain. All patients are required to purchase their low-THC marijuana from a licensed dispensing organization.

Under the Texas Occupations Code, “Low-THC Cannabis” is defined as a Cannabis Sativa that does not contain more than 0.5 percent by weight of tetrahydrocannabinol and 10 percent by weight of cannabidiol.

On a related note, CBD is making it’s way into millions of households nationwide as a way to curb anxiety and treat another number of issues including headaches, acne and more. While CBD is a legal substance in the United States, it’s unregulated nature can make it difficult to understand the real effects of the product both physically and legally.

Things to Watch Out for with CBD Oil

The fact of the matter is that CBD oil is not approved or regulated by the FDA, so it can be difficult for consumers to know exactly what they’re getting. It’s possible that certain CBD products include traces of THC, which would make the product illegal in the state of Texas.

If you are found in possession of CBD oil or gummies that contain traces of THC, you could be charged with a felony due to the concentrated nature of the substance. Even though CBD is not an illegal substance is still is not protected or regulated nationally under the law, which means you will lose in court under the argument that you didn’t know it contained THC.