Vaping Can Land You with Felony Charges in Texas
The consumption of cannabis has evolved over the last ten years. Many have turned to the use of THC concentrates instead of traditional smoking. These concentrates are created from marijuana by pressing the resin that collects on the plant’s flowers. They can be used in a vaping e-pen, “dabbing,” edibles and more.
Vaping marijuana concentrates may have taken the world by storm, but Texas law still prohibits the consumption of recreational marijuana. What’s worse is the penalties for THC concentrates are exceedingly more severe than simple possession. PossessingTHC concentrates can lead to felony charges, which means prison.
The reason for this is Texas law doesn’t recognize THC concentrates as marijuana. This means the legal consequences for selling or possessing marijuana concentrates is different than the standard plant. It’s important to understand why Texas legislation approaches cannabis concentrates if you’ve been charged with a criminal offense.
It’s also imperative to note that medical marijuana in Texas is exclusively sold as oils, another form of THC concentrates. Patients are prohibited from purchasing whole-flower products in the state of Texas. However, people are still criminally charged for possessing their medically issued low-level THC oils. Not only that, but their penalties will be enhanced even further if they consumed marijuana for reasons other than their medical condition.
How Texas Defines THC Concentrates
Marijuana concentrates are created by collecting resin gathered on the plant’s flowers. The resin used is incredibly potent in the two cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC concentrates are then made by pressing this resin through various substances such as butane or CO2. Because these concentrates are made from the resin and not the flower of the plant Texas law doesn’t consider it to be marijuana.
Texas Penal Code § 481.002(26) states the resin, stalks, stems or cakes made from marijuana is not considered a part of the cannabis sativa family. Meaning THC concentrates are not considered to be marijuana from a legal standpoint. Instead the law determines cannabis concentrates to be a Penalty Group 1 drug, which has the highest penalties of all the drugs groups under Texas law.
This means possessing even trace amounts of marijuana concentrates is a state jail felony. A conviction could lead to up to two years in state jail. Certain quantities can land you with an even higher felony offense. This is vastly different from simple possession which is a class B misdemeanor.
Cannabis Oils Used as Medical Marijuana
Texas is one of the many states which has legalized medicinal marijuana. It also has strict regulations on how that cannabis can be consumed. The only way to consume medical cannabis is to use oil cartridges made from low-level THC concentrates. These can be utilized for vaporizing pens, capsules, tinctures, and capsules. Patients with a medical marijuana card are legally allowed to consume cannabis concentrates for their condition.
Legalizing medical marijuana is a great step forward, but Texas law hasn’t caught up yet. Many people are arrested and charged with possession for simply using the medication prescribed to them. In situations like this it’s recommended you hire an attorney. Even with a medically issued card you could still face serious penalties such as prison.
Your attorney can utilize the necessity defense if you’re charged for using medical marijuana. They must prove you:
- Consumed marijuana concentrates to avoid imminent harm; and
- The urgency of avoiding harm outweighed the legal harm you wished to avoid
The necessity defense basically states you can violate the law if your actions were to avoid harm and that danger outweighed any potential harm that may have been caused. For example, a person may have epilepsy and use marijuana daily to avoid seizures. They could utilize the necessity defense if they’re charged with using THC concentrates because the harm they’re trying to prevent outweighs the danger of using marijuana oils.
Fighting THC Concentrates Charges
THC concentrates are becoming popular more and more each day. Unfortunately, Texas law hasn’t changed its penalties for possessing or selling THC concentrates. A possession conviction could mean felony charges on your record. Even if you’re released or put on probation it’ll be difficult to gain employment or pursue educational opportunities.
This is why it’s highly recommended you gain legal representation. A defense lawyer can look over your charges to determine the next best step for you. They can chart out a defense plan to tackle the prosecution’s case. If you’re a patient of the medical marijuana program, then they can contest the usage of your THC oils was legal. Speak to an experienced attorney today by calling (713) 225-8000.