Despite ongoing changes as to how marijuana is dealt with across the nation, Texas has yet to legalize the use and sale of the drug except for very specific instances for medical necessities. Drug possession and sale are still taken seriously. When a person is arrested for the sale of marijuana, there are still various penalties that can be assessed if there is a conviction. Understanding the law for amounts and the penalties that accompany it is critical when crafting a defense.
If a person is charged with selling under one-quarter of an ounce of marijuana, it will be a Class B misdemeanor provided they are not being paid (remunerated) for selling it. If there is remuneration, that same amount will be elevated to a Class A misdemeanor. For those who are caught selling one-quarter ounce to five pounds, it is a state jail felony. If it is five pounds to 50 pounds, it is a second-degree felony. Between 50 pounds and 2,000 pounds will be a first-degree felony. For those who are caught selling more than 2,000 pounds, a conviction will warrant life in prison or 10 to 99 years as well as a fine of $100,000. For those who deliver more than one-quarter ounce of the drug to a minor who is under age 17 and is still enrolled in school, it is a second-degree felony. If the sale happens in a drug-free zone, penalties will be doubled.
For sale of around one-quarter ounce (seven grams), the person can be sentenced to up to six months in jail and as much as $2,000 in fines. Sale of more than 50 pounds, a felony, can lead to 99 years in jail. The mandatory minimum sentence will be five years. Sale to a minor is a felony and the penalty can be up to 20 years in prison. Certain first-time offenders can be given the chance to take part in a drug diversion program, so they can go through rehabilitation in lieu of incarceration.
With more and more states making marijuana legal, some Texans might function under the misconception that the penalties in their state have been lowered and they can sell the drug without worrying about significant consequences. This is a mistake. Depending on the amount, people can be confronted with long-term incarceration, fines and more. Therefore, it is important that those charged with selling marijuana formulate a strong defense against the allegations they face.