Marijuana Laws in Texas
Texas state law defines marijuana as a substance that offers no medical value. It is legal in Texas to use low-THC cannabidoil oils to treat illnesses like epilepsy. However, you must have a valid prescription for these oils, and you cannot use, grow or sell any other form of marijuana legally in the state.
In fact, Texas labels marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance. It not only is illegal to drive under the influence of this substance, it is also illegal to possess, cultivate or sell it, as well as own or sell any paraphernalia related to its use.
If you are found guilty of any of these marijuana-related offenses, you could face serving time in prison and paying substantial civil fines. The penalties will depend of the severity of your offense.
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Marijuana Possession and Cultivation Laws in Texas
Texas outlaws possessing or cultivating any amount of marijuana in the state. It determines what charges and penalties to levy against you based on how much marijuana that you are found to possess or have grown. The weights used to define your charge and possible punishment are:
- Two ounces or less
- More than two but fewer than four ounces
- More than four up to and including five pounds
- More than five up to and including 50 pounds
- More than 50 up to and including 2000 pounds
- More than 2000 pounds
If you are found to possess or grow two ounces or less, you could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. You could face a jail term of up to 180 days, a fine of up to $2000 or both.
Possessing or growing two to four ounces of marijuana in Texas can result in a Class A misdemeanor charge. A conviction on this charge can lead to you being sentenced to up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $4000 or both.
Owning or growing four ounces to five pounds is charged as a state felony with potential penalties of 180 to two years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 or both. If you possess or grow five to 50 pounds of marijuana in Texas, you could be charged with a third degree felony and pay up to $10,000 in fines and serve two to 10 years in prison or both.
A charge of owning or growing 50 to 2000 pounds or marijuana is defined as a second degree felony. It carries with it the potential sentence of two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 or both. Finally, growing or possessing more than 2000 pounds of this drug is charged as a first degree felony, which can lead to a prison sentence of up to 99 years, a fine of $50,000 or both.
It should be noted, however, that Texas reserves the right to enhance both civil and criminal penalties for growing or owning marijuana in a drug-free zone. Drug-free zones in Texas are those found in or near schools, youth centers, playgrounds and similar facilities.
Selling Marijuana in Texas
Texas also outlaws the sale of marijuana in the state. This offense is defined as selling or possessing marijuana with the intent of selling it to someone else.
Like possessing and cultivating this substance, the penalties that you face will largely be based on the weights of the substance. Likewise, your penalties can be significantly enhanced if you sell marijuana in a designated drug-free zone.
If you gift one fourth of an ounce or less of marijuana in Texas, you could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor and serve up to 180 days in jail, pay a fine of up to $2000 or incur both penalties. Likewise, selling the same amount of marijuana can result in a Class A misdemeanor, carrying with it the potential of a $4000 fine and up to one year in jail.
You could incur a state felony charge if you sell a quarter of an ounce up to and including five pounds of marijuana in Texas. This conviction can lead to a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison term of 180 days to two years.
Selling more than five up to and including 50 pounds of marijuana will result in a second degree felony charge. A conviction can result in you paying a fine of up to $10,000 and serving two to 20 years in prison.
First degree felony marijuana charges are reserved for selling 50 up to and including 2000 pounds, as well as selling more than 2000 pounds. If you are found guilty of selling 50 to 2000 pounds of this substance, you could pay a fine of up to $10,000 and serve five to 99 years in prison. If you are found guilty of selling more than 2000 pounds, you could serve 10 to 99 years in prison and pay a fine of up to $100,000.
Marijuana Paraphernalia Laws in Texas
Texas additionally outlaws the manufacturing, sale and ownership of marijuana paraphernalia. If you are found to own paraphernalia for growing, harvesting, processing, storing or using marijuana, you could face criminal charges and having to pay civil fines.
Marijuana paraphernalia possession in Texas is a Class C misdemeanor and carries with it the potential of a $500 fine with no jail time. However, selling this paraphernalia can result in a Class A misdemeanor charge and result in a fine of up to $4000, a year in jail or both.
If you sell marijuana paraphernalia to a minor, you will be charged with a state felony. If you are found guilty, you could serve 180 days to two years in jail, pay a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
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Hiring a Marijuana Defense Lawyer
Because of how serious the penalties in Texas are for marijuana possession, cultivation and selling, it is imperative that you hire an experienced marijuana defense lawyer if you are arrested on any of these charges. Your attorney may be able to prove that you did not actually commit the offense and get the charges against you dropped.
An experienced lawyer may also be able to argue down the charges against you, particularly if it is your first offense. You may be able to avoid serving lengthy prison sentences and having to pay expensive fines that are beyond your budget.
Marijuana is a highly restricted substance in Texas. It is illegal to own, grow and sell it. It is also illegal to own, manufacture or sell marijuana paraphernalia. You can protect yourself legally and possibly avoid going to jail and paying steep fines by hiring an experienced attorney to represent you if you are charged with a marijuana offense in Texas.