It seems like marijuana is in the news all the time these days. More and more states are taking steps to legalize medical marijuana, as well as adult recreational marijuana. However, Texas is not one of them. While the state does have a medical marijuana law, it is quite restrictive, offering protection only for certain kinds of marijuana used by those with intractable epileptic seizures.
In order to avoid detection by law enforcement, more people have started using hash oil and similar marijuana extracts and concentrates. They take up very little space, offer higher potency and have less of the tell-tale smell of marijuana than the leafy green version. However, possession of these stronger, concentrated solutions also carry substantially increased risks of criminal penalties for those who get caught with them.
Hash oil charges more serious than pot charges
Not all possession is equal under Texas laws. If you have natural-state marijuana, getting caught with up to two ounces is only a misdemeanor. The penalties for that charge are a potential six-month jail sentence and fines of up to $2,000 for a first offense.
However, possession of any amount of hash oil, also called dabs, BHO, glass, wax or shatter, will result in felony charges. Even the residue inside a vaporizing pen could be enough for felony charges, which carry between 180 days and two years in jail as well as fines as much as $10,000.
The penalties only go up from there. Possession of between one and four grams increases the potential jail time to between two and 10 years in jail, while possession of between four and 400 grams could result in two to 20 years in jail. For those caught with more than 400 grams (which is around 14 ounces), the penalties increase: 10 years to life in jail, and fines up to $50,000.
Making and selling hash oil also carries steep risks
Making hash oil could also result in very serious felony charges. Making or selling less than one gram of hash oil carries the same penalties as the possession offenses for the same weight.
However, manufacturing or distributing between one and four grams results in between two and 20 years in jail. Amounts between four and 400 grams could result in five to 99 years in jail. The risks associated with either a conviction or a guilty plea related to hash oil possession, production or distribution are tremendous. A stalwart defense can sometimes save defendants from steep fines, jail sentences and a felony record for life.