Posted on 11/28/22

President Joe Biden recently pardoned federal marijuana possession convictions. He asked state governors to follow his lead and pardon those convicted of marijuana charges in their own states. Hundreds of Texans have been imprisoned based on state-level marijuana possession charges, and many are still behind bars. Most marijuana charges and convictions occur at the state level, not at the federal level. 

How Many People are Incarcerated for Marijuana Charges in Texas?

In Texas, 265 people are currently serving time in Texas jails and prisons for state marijuana possession charges. This number doesn’t include people serving sentences for misdemeanor charges in Texas county jails or those serving time for concurrent charges (other crimes besides marijuana possession). Approximately 21 people were arrested for marijuana-related charges, mainly possession charges, in Texas last year. Many defendants who are convicted do not go to jail for their crimes, but some do. 

Possession of Marijuana is Still Illegal in Texas

It is important to remember that possession of marijuana is still a crime in Texas. If you are charged, you can face significant penalties. The use of marijuana has been destigmatized in recent years. As more states begin to legalize recreational marijuana use, more people assume that they will not face serious penalties for possession of marijuana charges. That is far from true, however. If you are convicted of a marijuana-related charge, you will have to deal with the consequences of having a criminal charge on your record. Depending on the amount of marijuana in your possession, you could be facing jail time. 

The Texas legislature has attempted to lower the penalties for marijuana possession, but it remains illegal, and the penalties are still surprisingly high. For example, if you are in possession of fewer than two ounces of marijuana, you could still face a jail sentence of up to 180 days. In other words, a minimal amount of marijuana could end up costing you six months of your life. Possession of between four ounces and five pounds of marijuana is considered a state jail felony with a sentence of between 180 days and two years in jail. It also carries a fine of up to $10,000.

Facing a Marijuana Charge in Texas? We Can Help

Drug-related convictions can prevent you from obtaining certain types of employment down the road and may affect your housing opportunities. The best thing you can do is reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Abel Law Firm have a proven track record of defending clients charged with a wide range of drug-related offenses, including marijuana charges. We will investigate your case and develop the best legal defense possible to pursue a dismissal of the charges against you or a favorable plea bargain. Contact Abel Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about how we can advocate for you. 

Flower Mound Office

Phone: 972.584.7837

Denton Office