How Can an Edible Brownie Become a Felony Drug Charge?
Marijuana possession is illegal in Collin County and throughout Texas, except for narrowly defined medical uses. While other states, such as Colorado, have moved to legalize “recreational” marijuana use, the criminal prohibition remains unchanged in Texas. This means that even if you purchase marijuana in a state where it is permitted, you cannot legally bring the pot back to Texas.
Life in Prison for 1.5 Pounds of Brownies?
Texas’ prohibition on marijuana extends to anything that contains its main psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This includes any “edible” form of marijuana, i.e. a food product where THC is used as an ingredient. THC is quite popular in baked goods, such as cookies and brownies, since it is soluble in fats (such as cooking oil) rather than water.
While “cannabis edibles” may not contain much active THC–in many cases it is only between 5 and 10 milligrams–it can land a person in serious trouble with Texas law enforcement. Like most states, Texas classifies drug possession crimes according to the weight of the controlled substance recovered from the defendant. For instance, possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. But possession of one pound of marijuana is a state jail felony, where the maximum penalties escalate to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
So what is the big deal, you might ask, if someone is caught with a little brownie containing 10 milligrams of THC? That is less than 2 ounces, right? Wrong. Texas considers the entire weight of the edible, not just the THC content, in making a drug possession charge. If you are carrying a pound of brownies–roughly 8 servings–you can be charged with possessing one pound of marijuana, even if most of what you are carrying is actually butter and flour.
If you think this is an exaggeration, consider a 2015 case from Austin. A 19-year-old man was arrested for “making and selling 1.5 pounds of pot brownies” and cookies, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The brownies contained not only THC but “hash oil,” a marijuana resin that is classified as similar to ecstasy. Possession of more than 400 grams of such drugs is a first-degree felony in Texas and carries a possible sentence of life imprisonment.
Let Our Collin County Drug Crimes Lawyers Help You
The defendant in the Austin case ended up pleading guilty to a second-degree felony charge and received probation. He may not be facing life in prison, but he is still a convicted felon. If you are facing unlawful possession of a pot brownie or any other marijuana product, you need to take the matter seriously. An experienced Collin County criminal defense attorney can make sure the police and prosecutors respect your constitutional rights. Contact the offices of Rosenthal Barbieri today at (972) 369-0577 to speak with a Prosper, Texas drug crimes attorney who knows how to deal with these types of cases.