Drug Crime Laws

Marijuana is “high” on the List of Texas

Mary jane, pot, weed, joint, sticky icky, hash, reefer, wacky tabacky, grass, cannabis…these are just some of the names that refer to marijuana. It is a plant derivative that when smoked or otherwise ingested acts as a psychoactive drug that has a number of effects such as inducing a sense of euphoria or stimulating the appetite. In some states, it is legal to have and use marijuana if it is medically prescribed, and there is a general tolerance for its private use. Unless, of course, you are in Texas.

Texas has been named as one of the worst five states to be charged with possession of marijuana in the US. Every year it tops the list of states with the most arrests and criminal prosecutions for possession of marijuana. In one year alone, more than 77,000 people were arrested for it and even first-time offenders spent 180 days in prison and paid a fine of $2,000 when convicted. As pointed out in an article on the website of Ian Inglis, marijuana possession is no laughing matter in Texas.

Law enforcement in Texas have adopted a virulent attitude towards marijuana users, and make arrests for trivial amounts even with the law that gives police the option to issue a summons instead. This could be a reflection on the state’s lawmakers, who are reluctant to reduce current penalties for recreational use of the drug as proposed under House Bill 458 introduced in 2011 ($500 fine and a Class C misdemeanor for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana) and categorically rejected.

There is no denying that illegal drugs are the bane of any society, but it should perhaps be put in perspective. The potential danger posed by a small amount of marijuana for recreational use perhaps does not justify the punishment the possessor faces when convicted, but until the law is changed, it would be wise to avoid it altogether while in Texas.

If you are charged with marijuana possession in Texas, make sure that you cover your bases. Consult with a reputable criminal defense lawyer in the area and avoid the penalties that come with a conviction.

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