It’s no secret that people frequently transport marijuana from states such as Colorado, where both recreational and medicinal use are legal. In fact, all of the major thoroughfares that connect Texas to Colorado are littered with billboards advertising the services of self-proclaimed weed attorneys. As it stands now, possession of marijuana in Texas is illegal. If you are one of these individuals who has brought marijuana into Texas or you’re thinking about becoming one, you are probably wondering: what is my potential criminal liability if I am caught transporting marijuana from Colorado, for example, into Texas?
Answer: it depends. Factors that will impact your potential criminal liability under Texas law include the quantity of marijuana and type.
Drug violations and laws prohibiting possession of marijuana in Texas are found in the Texas Health & Safety Code. Under Texas Health & Safety Code §481.121, it is illegal to knowingly or intentionally possess marijuana in Texas. The severity of the potential criminal liability for possession depends on how much marijuana you possess and the type. Below are the potential consequences for possession of the actual marijuana plant, also known as “flower.” We will discuss criminal liability for other forms of marijuana later in this article.
In addition to confinement in jail or prison, probation is a potential outcome for each of these offenses.
What about criminal liability for possessing extracts, edibles or any form of THC other than the plant? Gram for gram, the penalties are more severe. Under Texas Health & Safety Code § 481.002, “Marihuana” means the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not, the seeds of that plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of that plant or its seeds. The term does not include:
Under Texas Health & Safety Code § 481.103, THC extracts are assigned to Penalty Group 2. Below are the penalties for possession of a Penalty Group 2 substance:
No matter how much of an extract you possess (assuming it is a usable amount), if caught, you are facing felony prosecution. And remember that Texas will hold you accountable for adulterants and dilutants. In other words, if you are caught in Texas with a brownie that contains THC extract or an edible, expect the State to charge you for the entire weight, even the part that does not contain THC.
In conclusion, be aware that transporting weed from a state where you legally purchased it can carry serious criminal consequences in Texas, if you’re caught. It is no defense under Texas law that you purchased the weed or THC extract legally. If you do decide to make that 420 pilgrimage and end up taking an unexpected detour to the county jail, contact The Hardy Law Group, PLLC, for aggressive legal representation.