Possession of Marijuana – Texas Health and Safety Code Section 481.120
A person found with marijuana in his or her “possession” can be found guilty of possession of marijuana. “Possession” is a statutorily-defined term that includes having actual care, custody, control, or management of the marijuana.
Marijuana possession is prohibited if it is done intentionally or knowingly. That is, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had some level of awareness that he or she was in fact or was likely to be in possession of marijuana. This can be shown through circumstantial evidence.
A defendant convicted of marijuana possession will be sentenced depending on the amount of marijuana he or she was found to be in possession of. For example, possession of less than two ounces of marijuana is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor; possessing over 2,000 pounds of marijuana is punishable by between 10 and 99 years in prison.
Delivery of Marijuana – Texas Health and Safety Code Section 481.121
Like the term “possession,” “delivery” has a specific statutory definition. It includes actual or constructive transfer of marijuana from one person to another, regardless of whether there is an agency relationship.
Constructive transfer or delivery refers to acts by which marijuana is transferred from one person to another without an actual physical transfer taking place. Dropping off marijuana at a predetermined location so that another person can come and pick it up later is an act of constructive delivery.
Like possession, delivery of marijuana is punished in accordance with the amount of marijuana transferred or delivered. Over 0.25 ounces but less than 5 lbs results in a minimum jail sentence of 180 days. Transferring more than 2000 lbs of marijuana can result in 10 to 99 years in prison, and up to a $100,000 fine.
Manufacture or Cultivation of Marijuana
Cultivation of marijuana – possessing and growing plants for later use – is treated as a “possession” offense and is punished according to the weight of all of the marijuana plants found. The possible penalties are the same as those for possession offenses.
Synthetic Marijuana and Other Similar Substances
Since the federal and local governments began criminalizing marijuana possession, people have attempted to skirt these laws by possessing synthetic or man made substances that are similar to organic marijuana. Texas and other states criminalize the possession and delivery of these synthetic substances as well.
A detailed chemical analysis of the synthetic substance is usually required to determine if the synthetic substance is adequately addressed and prohibited by Texas law. Texas’ laws are intended to be very broad and cover a wide variety of chemical variations that may be present in synthetic cannabis.
The possible penalties for these offenses are similar to those for organic marijuana and (again) mostly depend on the weight of the substance.