Home»Blog»No, a Texas judge did not sentence someone to death for marijuana, but it’s not far from the truth

No, a Texas judge did not sentence someone to death for marijuana, but it’s not far from the truth

There’s an article which has been making the rounds on social media today about a Texas judge sentencing a man to death for marijuana possession. To put it bluntly, it just isn’t true.

A satire website called Empire News put out an article about an Austin Superior Court judge sentencing 34 year old Joseph Goldsmith to death row yesterday after Goldsmith was picked up on his third offense for marijuana possession.

While you can’t get put to death for possession in Texas, you can get what amounts to a life sentence. It takes possessing over 2,000 pounds in order to get the possibility of serving a 99 year sentence, with a minimum of five years.

Selling on the other hand just requires over 50 pounds in order to receive a 99 year sentence.

If you’re Jacob Lavoro or anyone else caught with concentrates, essentially pure THC, the ingredient in marijuana which produces the high, it’s very easy to face a life sentence.

As few as four grams of concentrate can net you anywhere from five to 99 years. With the way the law reads, anything the concentrates are found in can be added to the total weight. In Lavoro’s case, they weighed the eggs, chocolate, flour, and all other ingredients in his pot brownies, which turned a few grams into about one and a half pounds.

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

Over 100 people rallied in support of Lavoro last week at his initial court hearing where he turned down a plea deal and his lawyer moved to have the evidence dismissed on the grounds that it was illegally obtained.

So while you can’t be put to death for marijuana in Texas, you surely can spend the rest of your life behind bars for it.

The last time a satire article swept across the web concerning marijuana in Texas was last year when an article put out by Tribune Herald told of a legislator dropping a joint in the middle of a legislative session as he argued against legalization.

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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  1. June 30, 2014 at 10:54 am

    The guys name is Joseph Goldsmith not Lavaro unless these are actually two separate stories.

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