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Texas: Medical Marijuana Law Overview and State Fines/Penalties - 1/01/2017

Dan Ultra

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Texas: Medical Marijuana Law Overview and State Fines/Penalties - 1/01/2017

Texas Medical Marijuana Law

In June of 2015 Gov. Abbot signed SB 399, The Texas Compassionate Use Act. This law allows access to some patients to "low-THC cannabis." Unlike many other "CBD Laws" this act also allows for "dispensing organizations" to cultivate, process and distribute this medical cannabis. Another significant difference between Texas and other's states medical cannabis laws is that SB 399 establishes a sort of parallel prescription system in which registered physicians record such information as patient dosage and amounts. This "prescription" would be taken to a dispensing organization to be filled.

Eligible Conditions
The only eligible condition in Texas is intractable epilepsy which has been unresponsive to treatment by at least two FDA-approved drugs.

Penalty Details

Possession
Possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $2,000.

Possession of between 2 and 4 ounces of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to 1 year and a fine not to exceed $4,000.

Possession of between 4 ounces and 5 pounds of marijuana is a felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 180 days imprisonment, a maximum of 2 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Possession of between 5 pounds and 50 pounds of marijuana is a felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of no less than 2 years imprisonment, a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Possession of between 50 pounds and 2,000 lbs of marijuana is a Second Degree felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years imprisonment, a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Possession of more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana is a felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years, a maximum sentence of 99 years, and a fine of no more than $50,000.

See
  • Texas Stat. Code § 481.121
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.33
  • Texas Stat.Code § 12.34
  • Texas Stat.Code § 12.35
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.21
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.22

Sale
The sale or delivery of 7 grams of marijuana or less, as a gift, is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $2,000.

The sale or delivery of 7 grams of marijuana or less, is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to 1 year and a fine not to exceed $4,000.

The sale or delivery of between 7 grams and 5 pounds is a felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 180 days imprisonment, a maximum of 2 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

The sale or delivery of between 5 pounds and 50 pounds of marijuana is a second degree felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years imprisonment, a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

The sale or delivery of between 50 pounds and 2,000 pounds of marijuana is a first degree felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment, a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

The sale or delivery of more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana is a felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $100,000.

Selling marijuana to a child is a Second Degree felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years imprisonment, a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

See
  • Texas Stat.Code § A481.120
  • Texas Stat. Code § A481.122
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.32
  • Texas Stat. Code §12.33
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.35
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.21
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.22

Cultivation
Cultivation in Texas will be punished based upon the aggregate weight of the plants found. See the "Possession" section for further penalty details.

Hash & Concentrates
Hashish and concentrates are not considered marijuana.

See
  • Texas Stat, Code § 481.002(26)(A)

Possession of hashish or concentrates is a crime. If hashish or concentrates is less than one gram, the offense is considered a state jail felony punishable by term of imprisonment no less than 180 days and no greater than 2 years and a fine no greater than $10,000.

If the amount of hashish or concentrates is more than 1 gram but less than 4 grams, the offense is considered a felony of the third degree punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 2 years and no greater than 10 years and a fine no greater than $10,000.

If the amount of hashish or concentrates is greater than 4 grams but less than 400 grams, the offense is considered a felony in the second degree punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 2 years and no greater than 20 years and a fine no greater than $10,000.

If the amount of hashish or concentrates is more than 400 grams, the offense is punishable by lifetime imprisonment or a term of imprisonment no less than 10 years and no greater 99 years and a fine no greater than $50,000.

See
  • Texas Stat. Code § 481.116
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.35
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.34
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.33

Manufacturing and selling hashish or concentrates also is a crime. If the amount of hashish or concentrates is less than 1 gram, the offense is considered a state jail felony punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 180 days and no greater than 2 years and a fine no greater than $10,000.

If the amount of hashish or concentrates is more than 1 gram but less than four grams, the offense is considered a felony of the second degree punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 2 years and no greater than 20 years and a fine no greater than $10,000.

If the amount of hashish or concentrates is more than 4 grams but less than 400 grams, the offense is considered a felony of the first degree punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 5 years and no greater than 99 years and a fine no greater than $10,000.

If the amount of hashish or concentrates is greater than 400 grams, the offense is punishable by lifetime imprisonment or a term of imprisonment no less than 10 years and no greater than 99 years and a fine no greater than $100,000.

See
  • Texas Stat. Code § 481.113
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.35
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.33
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.32

The sale of hashish or concentrates to a person under 18 years of age or a person enrolled in primary or secondary school is a felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 2 years and no greater than 20 years and a fine no greater than $10,000. This is only applicable if the offender is older than 18 years of age.

See
  • Texas Stat. Code § 481.122
  • Texas Stat. Code §12.33

Any device used for the purpose of creating hashish or concentrates is considered drug paraphernalia. Possession of any such device is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine no greater than $500. Manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with intent to deliver any such device is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by a term of imprisonment no greater than 1 year and/or a fine no greater than $4,000.

See
  • Texas Stat. Code § 481.002(17)
  • Texas Stat. Code § 481.125
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.23
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.21

If any of the previously listed offenses occurred within 1,000 feet of a school, youth center or playground, or within 300 feet of a public swimming pool or video arcade, the degree of the offense is increased by one level; i.e. if the offense was a felony of the third degree it is now a felony of the second degree and if the offense was a felony of the second degree it is now a felony of the first degree, etc.

See
  • Texas Stat. Code § 481.134(b)

If the perpetrator of any of the previously listed offenses was found to have involved a person under the age of 18, the degree of the offense is increased one level; i.e. if the offense was a felony in the third degree it is now a felony of the second degree, and if the offense was a felony of the second degree it is now a felony of the first degree, etc.

See
  • Texas Stat. Code § 481.140

Paraphernalia
Possession of paraphernalia is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.

Selling, or possessing with intent to sell or deliver, paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to 1 year and a fine not to exceed $4,000, unless the offender has previously been convicted of this offense, in which case the offense is a felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 1 year imprisonment.

Selling paraphernalia to a minor is a state jail felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 180 days imprisonment, a maximum of 2 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

See
  • Texas Stat. Code § 481.125
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.35
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.21
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.23

Miscellaneous
Falsifying a drug test, or possessing with intent to use any material for the falsification of a drug test, is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $2,000.

See
  • Texas Stat. Code § A481.133
  • Texas Stat. Code § 12.22

A person's driver's license is automatically suspended on final conviction of: (1) an offense under the Controlled Substances Act or (2) a drug offense.

See
  • Texas Stat. Code § 521.372

MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCE

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to "life MMS" must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.

TAX STAMPS

This state has a marijuana tax stamp law enacted. This law mandates that those who possess marijuana are legally required to purchase and affix state-issued stamps onto his or her contraband. Failure to do so may result in a fine and/or criminal sanction. For more information, see NORML's report Marijuana Tax Stamp Laws And Penalties.

Source: NORML & Americans for Safe Access
 
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