Although Texas recently made medicinal marijuana legal under the Compassionate Use Program (CUP), the restrictions placed on both the prescription-seeking patients and the prescribing doctors have rendered this program relatively ineffective. In addition, an unusual law governing the prosecution of edible marijuana could potentially lead to a felony conviction for the use of a relatively small amount of marijuana. Read on to learn more about the intersection of these two laws and your potential defenses if you’re facing charges for possession of edible marijuana.
How does Texas penalize edible marijuana?
Except for the few who are able to be prescribed marijuana under the CUP, it can be very difficult to obtain marijuana without breaking the law — and the penalties for doing so can be surprisingly stiff. Those caught with less than four ounces of marijuana can be charged with a misdemeanor, while those who have more than four ounces (or who attempt to sell more than seven grams, or about 1/4 of an ounce) are subject to a felony charge. Being convicted of a felony marijuana charge can carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence of six months to two years (with the potential to be sentenced to up to 99 years in prison for sale of more than 50 pounds of marijuana).
Unfortunately, these laws don’t differentiate between a two-pound baggie of marijuana buds and a two-pound pan of THC brownies — which means that selling even a single THC-laced brownie can be charged as a felony. One person who could have faced a lifetime in prison for the sale of about 18 ounces of marijuana brownies eventually had his felony criminal charges dropped; however, the decision to waive prosecution was only after much public protest and advocacy by national groups like NORML and the Marijuana Policy Project.
Do you have any options if you’re charged with a felony for possession of a relatively small amount of marijuana?
The precedent set by the decision to drop these charges may give you some grounds to fight against Texas’s illogical refusal to distinguish between marijuana-infused edibles and pure marijuana — and with the recent negative attention surrounding other criminal sentences that seem disproportionate for the accompanying harm, you and your attorney may find that the prosecutor is unwilling to press forward amid public outrage.
You’ll also have a strong legal defense if your marijuana edibles were made with cannabis (CBD) oil, as this oil is legally accessible (when prescribed) to those with severe epilepsy. Using legally-prescribed oil to make edibles is unlikely to be deemed a criminal action, even if the prosecution does decide to treat the resulting food product as equivalent in weight to pure marijuana.
If you are facing drug charges is the Houston, Texas area, contact the experienced defense attorneys at The Hill Law Firm. We will fight for your rights and your freedom. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.