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The laws around marijuana are changing around the country. However, Texas still maintains some of the strictest marijuana laws in the United States.
Even if you’re found in possession of fewer than 2 ounces, you could still face a maximum fine of $2,000 or 180 days in jail, which is no slap on the wrist. The possession of other THC products such as hash oil or concentrates carries even harsher penalties, such as up to two years in state prison.
Let’s go over the different penalties you could face for being caught in possession of marijuana in Houston.
Texas Marijuana Laws and Penalties
Here is how different marijuana arrests are currently classified in Texas:
- Possession of two ounces or less is considered a Class B misdemeanor. Penalties for a Class B misdemeanor include a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail.
- Possession of 2-4 ounces is considered a Class A misdemeanor and can result in up to one year in jail and $4,000 in fines.
- Possession of 4 ounces -5 pounds is considered a state felony that comes with a penalty of up to $10,000 and up to 2 years in state prison.
- Possession of 5-50 pounds is a third-degree felony and can result in up to 10 years in prison and penalties of up to $10,000.
- Possession of 50-2000 pounds is considered a second-degree felony and can result in up to 20 years in prison.
- If you’re found with more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana, you will likely serve between 5-99 years in prison and could owe fines of up to $50,000.
Medical Marijuana in Texas
In 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a new bill into law that expanded who can legally access medical marijuana in Texas. House Bill 3703 gave doctors the ability to prescribe medical marijuana products to treat only patients with multiple sclerosis, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, autism, terminal cancer, and certain seizure disorders. Previously, only patients diagnosed with intractable epilepsy could legally use medical cannabis products.
These laws require a prescription from a specifically licensed Texas doctor in order for the marijuana products to be possessed legally. Even with these new medical laws, Texas law still prohibits the products from being smoked. Even medicinally, doctors can only prescribe marijuana in the form of oil or an inhaler.
Even though decriminalization is making its way across various states, you still have the obey the local laws, otherwise, face the consequences. If you’re arrested for marijuana possession in Texas, there’s no use arguing that neighboring states have legalized the drug. It is still illegal in Texas, and it’s important to hire a qualified defense attorney to help you get a reasonable outcome to your case. It’s important to get qualified advice from somewhere other than the internet, to help you work through your case and come out with the best possible outcome.
Christopher T. Gore is a qualified Houston Criminal Defense attorney and has been handling marijuana possession cases for over a decade. Schedule a consultation to learn more about how he can represent your case.