You can now legally smoke marijuana for recreational purposes in Alaska, Washington, D.C., Colorado, the state of Washington, and Oregon. Like alcohol, you have to be at least 21 to do it.
In Texas, the story’s way different. Governor Abbott did sign a law that allows people with intractable epilepsy to use cannabis-based oils with low THC to alleviate their condition. In practicality, likely almost no one will be able to use it.
But, it’s not legal to smoke marijuana, or possess it, for recreational purposes anywhere in the entire state of Texas.
The State doesn’t take kindly to you if they catch you with marijuana. In fact, compared to other states, Texas punishments are more severe.
Here’s what can happen to you:
- Possession of fewer than 2 Ounces
In this case, you get charged with a Class B Misdemeanor, which includes up to 180 days in jail and fines up to $2,000.
The reality is that you’ll most likely get probation, mandatory drug treatment, and you can likely get the charge dismissed if you successfully pass a treatment program.
- Possession of 2-4 Ounces? Texas Doubles Your Penalties
Texas keeps things simple and straightforward. If you possess 2-4 ounces of marijuana, it’s considered a Class A Misdemeanor, and you can get up to a year in jail and $4,000 in fines.
- Charges Get More Serious with Possession of More than 4 Ounces
If you are convicted of possession 4 ounces to 5 pounds of marijuana, your charges intensify. You face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of at least 180 days. This can extend up to 2 years, and may include up to a $10,000 fine.
In this case, you’re considered to have committed a State Felony.
Felonies are much more serious than misdemeanors. In Texas, if you’re convicted of a felony, you can also lose your right to vote, own a gun, or get certain job licenses.
- What Happens if You’re Caught with More than 5 Pounds of Marijuana?
If it’s 5 to less than 50 pounds, you face a Third-degree Felony, which is 2-10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. If you have 50 – 2,000 pounds, you are charged with a Second-degree felony, and can get 2-20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Finally, if you possess more than 2,000 pounds, you can get an Enhanced First-degree Felony, which includes 5-99 years in prison and a fine up to $50,000.
And don’t forget the additional consequences that come with successful felony convictions from point number 3 above!
Any Marijuana Possession Conviction Results in a 6 Month Driver’s License Suspension
Even if you weren’t driving at the time, a successful marijuana possession conviction of any kind results in you losing your driver’s license for 6 months.
That causes a lot of inconveniences, and it’s why many people hire a criminal defense attorney to get their charges reduced or dismissed.