Traveling from Colorado with Marijuana or Concentrate Products
With the legalization of cannabis in Colorado, many Texans consider bringing back a new type of souvenir from their Rocky Mountain high, and are facing penalties for bringing this still-illegal substance across state lines. Since the legalization of marijuana in 2015, drug busts in corridor towns like Dalhart and Amarillo have quadrupled in number, with arrests not involving large quantities for resale, but more often an amount intended only for personal use. So, what are the laws and more importantly, the penalties for being arrested for marijuana possession in Texas? A Texas Criminal Defense Attorney can help with these questions.
The Different Types of Marijuana And Their Penalties
In Colorado, marijuana is sold in several forms. The first is the original form, as a leaf that is meant to be smoked. This is typically what is thought of when it comes to marijuana arrests. The grade or quality of the substance does not matter as much as the quantity; according to Texas law, anything that could be construed as a “usable” amount of the marijuana plant will be prosecuted as “possession of marijuana” with the punishment ranging from a Class B misdemeanor to a first-degree felony.
A second popular form are foods, oils and waxes made from processing THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana. These can be purchased in baked goods, candies, as vaping mechanisms or as a distilled wax called a “dab.” If you are found in possession of one of these items, you will be charged not with Possession of Marijuana but Possession of a Controlled Substance, Penalty Group 2, along with drugs like ecstasy or PCP. Then you will need a Texas Criminal Lawyer, because this is a more serious charge. Now penalties can range from 3rd degree felony (for over 1 gram) to 1st degree felony (for more than 400 grams). To put that in perspective, a 30 gram brownie possession has the possibility of incurring the same punishment as carrying 2,000 pounds of marijuana plant.
For both Possession of Marijuana and Possession of a Controlled Substance, the penalties are dependent of a number of things, including your criminal history, how close you were to a school during your arrest and the amount of the substance you were carrying at the time. Arrests for Possession of Marijuana start out as a Class B misdemeanor which means you will likely be arrested, handcuffed and taken to jail for carrying 2 ounces or less of the marijuana plant. If you carry between 2-4 ounces of the plant, you will still be charged with a misdemeanor but beyond that, things get more serious. If you are stopped within 1,000 feet of any place children typically gather like a school or recreation center, your crime will be bumped up to the next level automatically. If you are carrying more than 4 ounces, you will be prosecuted as a felon, beginning with the lowest form, State Jail Felony (or SJF) and going all the way up to a first-degree felony, punishable by 5-99 years in prison.
Call To Schedule A Free Consultation With an Experienced Marijuana Defense Attorney
For Possession of a Controlled Substance (meaning anything containing THC that is not the marijuana plant), punishments are an automatic felony, beginning with the state jail felony for less than 1 gram. Anything between 1-4 grams is considered a third-degree felony and can mean 2-10 years in prison. Over 4 grams is a second-degree felony, on par with sexual assault or arson, and can mean up to twenty years in prison. More than 400 grams can land you in prison for life with a first degree felony.
It’s important to weigh the risks of carrying marijuana or cannabis products across state lines into Texas, and if you have been arrested for possession in Tarrant County, you probably do not know the rights and processes afforded to you. That is where a Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyer comes to help prevent a momentary slip-up from ruining your life. Don’t become a felon because you took a Colorado cookie across state lines, call a Arlington Criminal Attorney today to help with your travels to and from Colorado with peace of mind.
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