MARIJUANA

CHARGES

Possession of marijuana is illegal in Texas. In the 2014 session, one bill was introduced to legalize marijuana but it never made it out of committee.  However, effective September 1, 2016, it is now legal to dispense cannabis oil by a licensed physician in Texas.  It is no uncommon for Texas residents to purchase marijuana legally in Colorado and be arrested in Texas for possession of marijuana when the are stopped on the way home. 

For purposes of Texas law, marijuana is spelled “marihuana” in all statutes.

What are the Penalties for the Possession of Marijuana in Texas?

If you are arrested for possessing marijuana, the charges you face will depend on the amount of marijuana in your possession and how you intended to use it. Marijuana penalties in Texas can include incarceration, fines, and treatment for marijuana addiction. The severity of penalty will depend on the amount of use and what the intended purpose of the possession is: possession of smaller amounts intended for personal use only will bring much lesser penalties than larger amounts with the intent to sell the marijuana. If convicted, adults may face jail or prison sentences, while minors could spend time in a juvenile facility. Possession of synthetic forms of marijuana (tetrahydrocannabinol) will usually bring stiffer penalties than possession of actual marijuana.

Being charged with attempted distribution of marijuana does not require that you be caught in the act of selling it. Instead, if you possess a large amount of marijuana, measuring equipment, baggies, or other paraphernalia, this can all be used as evidence that you intended to sell, and you could easily be charged with attempted distribution. The table below shows Texas law and penalties for possession and delivery of marijuana. Remember that separate penalties also exist under federal law. Because of the often complicated nature of marijuana laws in Texas, specific penalties can vary depending on the particular circumstances of your case, so you should consult an experienced Texas marijuana attorney or Texas criminal lawyer. (Texas Health and Safety Code Sections 480.120-480.122)

Code SectionHealth & Safety §481.032, et seq.

PossessionUnder 2 oz.: Class B misdemeanor; 2-4 oz.: Class A misdemeanor; 4 oz. to 5 lbs.: State jail felony; 5-50 lbs.: 3rd degree felony; 50-2000 lbs.: 2nd degree felony; Over 2000 lbs.: Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice institution for life or 5-99 yrs. and $50,000

Sale.25 oz. or less: Class B misdemeanor (if no remuneration); .25 oz. or less: Class A misdemeanor (with remuneration); .25 oz. to 5 lbs.: state jail felony; 5 lbs. to 50 lbs.: 2nd degree felony; 50-2000 lbs.: 1st degree felony; Over 2000 lbs.: Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice institution for life or 10-99 yrs. and/or $100.000; Delivery to minor under 17 who is enrolled in school and over .25 oz.: 2nd degree felony; Within drug-free zone: penalties doubled

 

Possession

2 oz or lessMisdemeanor180 days$ 2,000

2 - 4 ozMisdemeanor1 year$ 4,000

4 oz to 5 lbsFelony180 days* - 2 years$ 10,000

5 - 50 lbsFelony2* - 10 years$ 10,000

50 - 2000 lbsFelony2* - 20 years$ 10,000

More than 2000 lbsFelony5* - 99 years$ 50,000

* Mandatory minimum sentence

Sale

7 g or less for no remunerationMisdemeanor180 days$ 2,000

7 g or lessMisdemeanor1 year$ 4,000

7 g to 5 lbsFelony180 days* - 2 years$ 10,000

5 - 50 lbsFelony2* - 20 years$ 10,000

50 - 2000 lbsFelony5* - 99 years$ 10,000

More than 2000 lbsFelony10* - 99 years$ 100,000

To a minorFelony2* - 20 years$ 10,000

* Mandatory minimum sentence

Hash & Concentrates

Possession of less than 1g Felony180 days - 2 years$ 10,000

Possession of 1 - 4g Felony2 - 10 years$ 10,000

Possession of 4 - 400g Felony2 - 20 years$ 10,000

Possession of more than 400g Felony10 years - life$ 50,000

Manufacture or delivery of less than 1g Felony180 days - 2 years$ 10,000

Manufacture or delivery of 1 - 4gFelony2 - 20 years$ 10,000

Manufacture or delivery of 4 - 400g Felony5 - 99 years$ 10,000

Manufacture or delivery of more than 400g Felony10 years - life$ 10,000

Paraphernalia

Possession of paraphernaliaMisdemeanorN/A$ 500

Sale of paraphernalia (first offense)Misdemeanor1 year$ 4,000

Sale of paraphernalia (subsequent offense)Felony90 days* - 1 year$ 4,000

To a minorFelony180 days* - 2 years$ 10,000

* Mandatory minimum sentence

Miscellaneous

Falsifying a drug testMisdemeanor180 days$ 2,000

A person's driver's license is automatically suspended

on final conviction of a drug offense.

Penalty Details

Possession

Possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $2,000.

Possession of between 2 and 4 ounces of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to 1 year and a fine not to exceed $4,000.

Possession of between 4 ounces and 5 pounds of marijuana is a felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 180 days imprisonment, a maximum of 2 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Possession of between 5 pounds and 50 pounds of marijuana is a felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of no less than 2 years imprisonment, a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Possession of between 50 pounds and 2,000 lbs of marijuana is a Second Degree felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years imprisonment, a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Possession of more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana is a felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years, a maximum sentence of 99 years, and a fine of no more than $50,000.

 

Sale

 

The sale or delivery of 7 grams of marijuana or less, as a gift, is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $2,000.

The sale or delivery of 7 grams of marijuana or less, is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to 1 year and a fine not to exceed $4,000.

The sale or delivery of between 7 grams and 5 pounds is a felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 180 days imprisonment, a maximum of 2 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

The sale or delivery of between 5 pounds and 50 pounds of marijuana is a second degree felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years imprisonment, a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

The sale or delivery of between 50 pounds and 2,000 pounds of marijuana is a first degree felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment, a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

The sale or delivery of more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana is a felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $100,000.

Selling marijuana to a child is a Second Degree felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years imprisonment, a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

See

Cultivation

Cultivation in Texas will be punished based upon the aggregate weight of the plants found. See the "Possession" section for further penalty details.

Hash & Concentrates

Hashish and concentrates are not considered marijuana.

See

Possession of hashish or concentrates is a crime. If hashish or concentrates is less than one gram, the offense is considered a state jail felony punishable by term of imprisonment no less than 180 days and no greater than 2 years and a fine no greater than $10,000.

If the amount of hashish or concentrates is more than 1 gram but less than 4 grams, the offense is considered a felony of the third degree punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 2 years and no greater than 10 years and a fine no greater than $10,000.

If the amount of hashish or concentrates is greater than 4 grams but less than 400 grams, the offense is considered a felony in the second degree punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 2 years and no greater than 20 years and a fine no greater than $10,000.

If the amount of hashish or concentrates is more than 400 grams, the offense is punishable by lifetime imprisonment or a term of imprisonment no less than 10 years and no greater 99 years and a fine no greater than $50,000.

See

Manufacturing and selling hashish or concentrates also is a crime. If the amount of hashish or concentrates is less than 1 gram, the offense is considered a state jail felony punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 180 days and no greater than 2 years and a fine no greater than $10,000.

If the amount of hashish or concentrates is more than 1 gram but less than four grams, the offense is considered a felony of the second degree punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 2 years and no greater than 20 years and a fine no greater than $10,000.

If the amount of hashish or concentrates is more than 4 grams but less than 400 grams, the offense is considered a felony of the first degree punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 5 years and no greater than 99 years and a fine no greater than $10,000.

If the amount of hashish or concentrates is greater than 400 grams, the offense is punishable by lifetime imprisonment or a term of imprisonment no less than 10 years and no greater than 99 years and a fine no greater than $100,000.

See

The sale of hashish or concentrates to a person under 18 years of age or a person enrolled in primary or secondary school is a felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 2 years and no greater than 20 years and a fine no greater than $10,000. This is only applicable if the offender is older than 18 years of age.

See

Any device used for the purpose of creating hashish or concentrates is considered drug paraphernalia. Possession of any such device is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine no greater than $500. Manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with intent to deliver any such device is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by a term of imprisonment no greater than 1 year and/or a fine no greater than $4,000.

See

If any of the previously listed offenses occurred within 1,000 feet of a school, youth center or playground, or within 300 feet of a public swimming pool or video arcade, the degree of the offense is increased by one level; i.e. if the offense was a felony of the third degree it is now a felony of the second degree and if the offense was a felony of the second degree it is now a felony of the first degree, etc.

See

If the perpetrator of any of the previously listed offenses was found to have involved a person under the age of 18, the degree of the offense is increased one level; i.e. if the offense was a felony in the third degree it is now a felony of the second degree, and if the offense was a felony of the second degree it is now a felony of the first degree, etc.

See

Paraphernalia

Possession of paraphernalia is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.

Selling, or possessing with intent to sell or deliver, paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to 1 year and a fine not to exceed $4,000, unless the offender has previously been convicted of this offense, in which case the offense is a felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 1 year imprisonment.

Selling paraphernalia to a minor is a state jail felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 180 days imprisonment, a maximum of 2 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

See

Miscellaneous

Falsifying a drug test, or possessing with intent to use any material for the falsification of a drug test, is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $2,000.

See

A person's driver's license is automatically suspended on final conviction of: (1) an offense under the Controlled Substances Act or (2) a drug offense.

See

Mandatory Minimum Sentence

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to "life MMS" must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.

Tax Stamps

This state has a marijuana tax stamp law enacted. This law mandates that those who possess marijuana are legally required to purchase and affix state-issued stamps onto his or her contraband. Failure to do so may result in a fine and/or criminal sanction. For more information, see NORML's report Marijuana Tax Stamp Laws And Penalties.

 

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