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How to get life in prison for marijuana in Texas

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Texas is a fairly free place to be. Much of the rules and regulations which people experience in other states don’t exist here. A friend who recently visited from New York even remarked as much. When it comes to cannabis though, freedom just doesn’t exist in the Lone Star State.

There are a wide variety of laws covering the possession, cultivation, and sale of marijuana, along with others covering paraphernalia and even falsifying a drug test or possessing with intent to use any material for the falsification of a drug test, which can get you up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. You’ll also lose your driver’s license upon any sort of drug conviction, even if you were not driving at the time you were busted.

Mandatory minimums exist as well, ranging from 180 days to 10 years. There’s no rhyme or reason to the laws, and the sentence you’re handed when you get caught largely depends on whether you can cut a deal with the DA, and how your judge or jury is feeling that day.

When it comes to hash and other concentrates, Texas considers this to be in a category of their own. Furthermore, they’re not considered to be cannabis, even though they are derived strictly from cannabis.

You can also get life in prison, whether it be for possession, distribution, growing, or manufacturing as it pertains to hash and other concentrates.

So what does it take to get handed a life sentence, that being 99 years or more?

Casual consumers aren’t in danger of a hefty sentence in Texas, unlike those poor souls in Oklahoma. It takes possessing over 2,000 pounds to be eligible for a 99 year sentence. You will have to serve a minimum of 5 years for it though. Growing is considered as possession as well, with the net weight of all plants being factored in.

Selling marijuana on the other hand, it doesn’t require nearly as much. For having anything more than 50 pounds but less than 2,000, a person can expect to serve a minimum of 5 years, but can get 99. Anything over 2,000 is a minimum of 10 years.

Possession, manufacture, and distribution of hash and concentrates is another matter though.

Having more than 400 grams will get someone a minimum of 10 years, but can also draw that life sentence. For those wondering, there are 453.592 grams in a pound.

A pound of cannabis will get you 180 days to 2 years in jail, but a pound of hash will get you at least 10 years. Makes a lot of sense right? We didn’t think so either.

Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018
Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018

Manufacture and delivery of hash and concentrates are considered the same offense. As little as 4 grams can get you 5 to 99 years while more than 400 can get you 10 to life.

Even without legalizing marijuana, a great many can agree that our laws need to be changed to decrease the various penalties for possession. Several polls show as many as 58% support full legalization, 79% support removing jail time from sentences, and only 23% support keeping cannabis illegal in all forms.

There’s no justice in putting people in jail, especially for an extended period of time, for a non-toxic plant which is safer than any current legal drug.

Each marijuana arrest costs Texas approximately $10,000 , which includes prosecution and incarceration. In 2010, more than 78,000 marijuana-related arrests were made, and 97 percent of those were for possession only.

Check out the information below for the full run down on marijuana laws and penalties in Texas. Much thanks to NORML for putting this information together.

Possession
2 oz or less misdemeanor 180 days $ 2,000
2 – 4 oz misdemeanor 1 year $ 4,000
4 oz to 5 lbs felony 180 days* – 2 years $ 10,000
5 – 50 lbs felony 2* – 10 years $ 10,000
50 – 2000 lbs felony 2* – 20 years $ 10,000
More than 2000 lbs felony 5* – 99 years $ 50,000

Sale
7 g or less for no remuneration misdemeanor 180 days $ 2,000
7 g or less misdemeanor 1 year $ 4,000
7 g to 5 lbs felony 180 days* – 2 years $ 10,000
5 – 50 lbs felony 2* – 20 years $ 10,000
50 – 2000 lbs felony 5* – 99 years $ 10,000
More than 2000 lbs felony 10* – 99 years $ 100,000
To a minor felony 2* – 20 years $ 10,000

Hash & Concentrates
Possession of less than 1 g felony 180 days – 2 years $ 10,000
Possession of 1 – 4 g felony 2 – 10 years $ 10,000
Possession of 4 – 400 g felony 2 – 20 years $ 10,000
Possession of more than 400 g felony 10 years – life $ 50,000
Manufacture or delivery of less than 1 g felony 180 days – 2 years $ 10,000
Manufacture or delivery of 1 – 4 g felony 2 – 20 years $ 10,000
Manufacture or delivery of 4 – 400 g felony 5 – 99 years $ 10,000
Manufacture or delivery of more than 400 g felony 10 years – life $ 10,000

Paraphernalia
Possession of paraphernalia misdemeanor $ 500
Sale of paraphernalia (first offense) misdemeanor 1 year $ 4,000
Sale of paraphernalia (subsequent offense) felony 90 days* – 1 year $ 4,000
To a minor felony 180 days* – 2 years $ 10,000

By: Stephen Carter
Contact Stephen via email at TXCann@gmail.com

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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5 Comments

  1. March 19, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Ouch

  2. Lindsay
    March 19, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Texas is governed by a Republican political machine run by crooks and idiots and the marajuana laws here will NEVER be changed.

  3. Son
    March 23, 2014 at 8:22 am

    The politicians in Texas have been elected by the farming and ranching communities who believe every word the government propaganda says. They imagine drugged zombies coming for their babies and their children raped and murdered by criminals smoking pot. Of course, in reality, alcohol is the drug that when abused most nearly resembles those actions. But they sell alcohol somewhere in every town and city – legal or not.There are two laws on the books in Texas for possession. One that used to be common in Austin was a ticket issued with a fine. The other is to clog up the court system, probation @ $50 a month, community service that can be bought off for a dollar or two and hour, fines, fees, judges, courts, jails, bail, cars impounded, sorry cops that plant evidence, lie in court and cover each others backs, and use fake drug dogs and lie about them smelling drugs, cheat people on the side of the road and use fear and slick talking bs to force people into letting them search cars, and promising victims that they will get them special consideration if they give up their dealer and friends when they have no power to do so. But, if someone lies to a cop, it is illegal.Cops can lie legally but the rest if us get a criminal charge if we lie to cops.A simple pot charge can run up to $10k when run through the system as well as a permanent record that only big money and special expongement lawyers can get removed. A normal lawyer has no idea how to make this happen. So, Texas has been turned into a police state with the Federal government giving money to the TXDOT for “DUI” campaigns where cars are pulled over and sometimes people forced to give blood and breath tests while having their constitution right rights stomped on by sneering jackass state cops on the side of the road. I thought TXDOT was for road maintenance! They have stolen control over our once awesome state for aggressive greed purposes what would make Boss Hog smile. And any kind of pot solution – either diluted or concentrated is an automatic felony. And that includes all the treats sold in legal states like pot candy and the crystals washed off pot trash with water they call hash. So not, Texas is one of those come on vacation and leave on probation states with jails/probation system/court system loaded with people who have been caught with some amount of pot – many times illegally. Guess they don’t teach those cops they educate to use Constitutional stomping tricks to bust people that that is a form of treason. And then they have the gall to show up at church! Guess I will have to start voting democrat in hopes that the system will flush itself of these ignorant haters. See ya Republicans!

  4. March 26, 2014 at 11:48 am

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