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Texas takes a harsh stance against recreational marijuana

Using marijuana is still illegal on a federal level even while many states are opting to decriminalize it on the state level. Texas is not one of the states that is following this trend. In fact, Texas laws provide very strict penalties for marijuana-related convictions.

Because of these strict laws, the best course of action is to avoid marijuana use completely. This isn't an option for some people, so learning about the possible marijuana-related charges is a must. Here are some basics to get you started:

Possession of marijuana

Even possessing a very small amount of this drug can lead to criminal charges. Possession of an amount less than 2 ounces is a Class B misdemeanor. Possessing 2 to 4 ounces is a Class A misdemeanor. From there, you face a felony charge.

Those who have more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana face life in prison. As an alternate sentence, they can serve five to 99 years in prison plus a $50,000 fine.

Selling marijuana

The penalties for selling marijuana are even more serious. A Class B misdemeanor is levied against a person who is accused of distributing a quarter ounce or less without remuneration. If there is remuneration, the charge is bumped up to a Class A misdemeanor.

For .25 ounces to 5 pounds, the charge is a felony. A second-degree felony is reserved for sales of 5 to 50 pounds, and a first-degree is for 50 to 2,000 pounds. A person who is accused of selling more than 2,000 pounds is looking at the possibility of life in prison or having to serve 10 to 99 years and paying a $100,000 fine.

Factors that can impact a case

There are some factors in cases that can increase the charges. These include selling to a minor who is enrolled in school and under 17 years old. Another is for selling in a drug-free zone, which carries double penalties.

Diversion programs

Fighting back against drug charges can be challenging. In some Texas courts, a first time, nonviolent defendant might be able to go through a drug diversion program. These programs enable defendants to seek help through rehabilitation. The court-supervised programs are very strict and all defendants must be in compliance with all provisions. Failing to complete the programs can lead to more legal issues.

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