July 3, 2018
Nationally and internationally, attitudes about Marijuana are changing. Eight states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana, while 28 states and Washington D.C have legalized medical marijuana. On top of this, a number of states have decriminalized petty offenses such as possession of small amounts of marijuana.
However, true to form, Texas has gone its own way with marijuana laws. Marijuana is very much still illegal in the state of Texas, and our state continues to impose harsh penalties for possession of even very small amounts. Further, hashish and concentrates are considered separate drugs, and possession of these substances is even more harshly punished – possession of any amount is a felony.
Below, we’re going to cover sentencing and penalties for possession of marijuana and marijuana concentrates.
How Texas Handles Marijuana Possession Sentencing and Penalties
Like most drug crimes, the charges and penalties you face for marijuana possession is a matter of the amount you’re found to be in possession of.
Simple possession of marijuana carries the following penalties:
- Under 2 ounces: Class B misdemeanor; Up to 180 days in county jail and fine of up to $2,000.
- 2-4 ounces: Class A misdemeanor; Up to one year in a county jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
- 4 ounces – 5 pounds: State jail felony; 180 days – two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
- 5-50 pounds: Second-degree felony; 2-20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- 50-2,000 pounds: First-degree felony; 5-99 years or life imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.
- 2,0000+ pounds: 10-99 years or life imprisonment.
If you are found to be in possession of marijuana in a drug-free zone (for example, a school or hospital), the above penalties are doubled. You can also expect enhanced sentencing if you are a repeat offender or have other drug crime convictions.
In Texas, it may be possible to enter a drug diversion program, which allows first-time offenders to undergo a rehabilitation program instead of serving a prison sentence.
How Texas Handles Marijuana Concentrate Possession Sentencing and Penalties
Under Texas law, marijuana concentrates such as hashish or waxes used for “dabbing” are considered separate drugs, and are penalized much more harshly, even for first-time offenders in possession of very small amounts.
Simple possession of marijuana concentrates carries the following sentences and penalties:
- Under 1 gram: State jail felony; 180 days – two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
- 1-4 grams: Third-degree felony; 2-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- 4-400 grams: Second-degree felony; 2-20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- 400+ grams: First-degree felony; 5-99 years or life imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.
Many marijuana users make their own concentrates. Importantly, this is considered drug manufacturing, even if you are only making it for your own use. Manufacture of even a small quantity is charged as a second-degree felony.
Facing Texas Marijuana Possession Charges?
If you are facing marijuana possession charges of any kind in our state, it is imperative to take this matter seriously. Failure to do so could result in a lengthy prison sentence, a hefty fine, and a criminal record that will come back to haunt you for years to come.
Be proactive by consulting an aggressive Texas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
About the Author:
Jeff Hampton has been practicing law in Texas in 2005, first in the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor, and now as a private attorney with the Hampton Eppes Law Group, protecting the rights of Texans who have suffered injury due to negligence or are facing criminal charges. His success in helping people with their legal troubles has been recognized by clients and peers alike, with a Top Attorney designation and 10/10 Superb Rating on Avvo, and a place on the National Trial Lawyers list of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers.