If you are a
marijuana supporter, like many people are, you have probably been watching the news
and possibly even reading articles about marijuana legalization. As of
today, 21 different states have decriminalized certain marijuana
possession offenses. Some of those states include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois,
Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, and Ohio.
So, what does decriminalization mean? Usually, it means that if someone
is caught possessing a small amount of marijuana, he or she will not be
arrested, they will not go to jail, and they will not get a criminal record.
This typically applies to people who are caught with a small amount of
marijuana for personal use and it’s their first time. Most decriminalized
states treat marijuana possession like a minor traffic offense.
Marijuana Possession Penalties in Texas
In Texas, possession of marijuana is still very much illegal. Driving under
the influence of marijuana is also illegal. Marijuana possession can be
prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the “amount.”
For example, possessing 2 ounces or less is a misdemeanor, punishable
by up to 180 days in jail, and up to a $2,000 fine.
Possessing 2 to 4 ounces of marijuana is also a misdemeanor, but the penalties
are double. If you are caught with 2 to 4 ounces of pot, you’d face
up to one year in jail, and a fine not to exceed $4,000. Once you possess
over 4 ounces, you move into felony territory.
4 ounces to 5 pounds is a
felony, punishable by 6 months to 2 years behind bars, and up to a $10,000 fine.
Possessing 5 to 50 pounds is a
felony, punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison, and by a fine not to exceed $10,000.
Of course, the more marijuana a person possesses, the greater the penalties.
The state has adopted a penalty schedule for possessing 50-2000 pounds
and more than 2000 pounds.
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