Arrested for Marijuana Possession or Sales?
Choose the Right Houston Marijuana Lawyer For Your Case
The Charles Johnson Law Firm is one of the
foremost criminal defense law firms in
Houston in defending people from drug
convictions, including the possession and
sale of marijuana.Our unique strategy gives our
clients the best opportunity to avoid criminal
penalties, and our criminal defense law firm's
familiarity with drug laws, both felonies and
misdemeanors, is unrivaled. We provide each
client a high-quality legal defense that is
superior. Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles
Johnson can defend against any criminal drug
charge in both federal and state courts, and our
firm's track record of success continues to grow.
Hire the Best Houston Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer: The Charles Johnson
Criminal Marijuana Penalties
Marijuana possession and sale charges can be either misdemeanors or felonies, but both carry serious
penalties. Jail time, heavy fines, probation, mandatory rehab programs and more are all possible penalties for
drug charges. Attorney Johnson's finely tuned defense techniques have evolved from years of experience, and
he brings that knowledge and experience to those facing marijuana-related criminal charges.
Of all the marijuana laws in Texas, possession of marijuana may be the most unfair. It punishes
otherwise responsible citizens merely for keeping some pot for personal use and who have no intention of ever
doing anything hurtful with it or profiting from it. Nonetheless, it is an offense to possess, distribute or
cultivate marijuana in Texas. Depending on the quantity, possession of marijuana can be charged as a
misdemeanor of felony in both state and federal court.
The prosecution may argue that you're "in possession" of marijuana in Houston, TX, if you're found smoking
marijuana or if you knowingly "exercised control" over the marijuana. Therefore, the location of the marijuana
is very important:
If the marijuana is found on your person, in your car, in or around your home, in a storage unit
belonging to you, or in any other place that you have some authority over, the prosecution will argue
that you were in possession of the marijuana since you had some control over the location.
Furthermore, if marijuana is found in your system during a drug test or you were caught driving under
the influence of marijuana in Texas, the prosecution may try to use that to prove you've been in
possession of marijuana since you presumably "exercise control" over your body.
Marijuana Possession Penalties in Texas
Two ounces or less include a fine up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail or both
More than two ounces, but less than four ounces. Penalties include a fine of up to $4,000, up to one
year in jail, or both.
Four ounces or more, up to and including five pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000,
between 180 days and two years in prison, or both.
More than five pounds, up to and including 50 pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000,
between two and ten years in prison, or both.
More than 50 pounds, up to and including 2,000 pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000,
between two and 20 years in prison, or both.
More than 2,000 pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $50,000, between five and 99 years in
prison, or both.
Sale of Marijuana
Various states have different marijuana laws, and Texas is no different. Texas treats marijuana sales as a
much more serious crime than possession, which is reflected in the penalties. The sale of any amount of
marijuana can lead to prison time, even for small amounts.
Sale of Marijuana Penalties in Texas
1/4 oz - 5 lbs: 6 months - 2 years, $10,000 fine
5 lbs - 50 lbs: 2 - 20 years, $10,000 fine
50 lbs - 1 ton: 5 - 99 years, $10,000 fine
1 ton or more: Mandatory minimum of 10 - 99 years, with a $100,000 fine
These are for either the sale OR delivery, meaning it is irrelevant whether or not you are actually paid or just
just giving it to someone. On top of that, if the delivery or sale is to a minor (in ANY amount), that is
punishable by an additional 2 - 20 years in prison. Also, sale within 1,000 feet of a school or within 300 feet
of a youth center, public pool or video arcade increases the penalty classification to the next
highest level (which in some cases is a difference of many years).
The Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson understands the unique nature of Texas marijuana laws, and
can provide a skilled defense. His unparalleled knowledge of state and federal drug laws gives him a
unique ability to provide excellent legal services for you and your loved ones. If you are in need of criminal
defense legal representation in the Houston area, contact Attorney Johnson anytime day or night at
(713) 222-7577 to discuss your situation.
What Is Marijuana?
Cannabis sativa: There are two species of Cannabis. One species is Cannabis sativa, originally cultivated to
make hemp. The stalks of the plant contain fibers that are woven to make rope, cloth, and paper. The other
species is Cannabis indica, known for its psychoactive properties. Hashish is derived from Cannabis indica. In
Africa, cannabis is know as "dagga," in China as "ma," and in India as "ganga" or "bhang". Marijuana is the
Mexican colloquial name for Cannabis sativa. Marijuana is a greenish-gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves,
stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant.
THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is found in the
plant's resin. The amount of THC determines the potency of the marijuana. The resin is mostly concentrated in
the flowers of the plant. Because of various cultivation techniques the amount of THC varies considerably in
the flowers of individual plants.
Other Chemicals: Marijuana is a complex drug and is made up of 420 chemical components. Sixty-one of
these chemicals are called cannabinoids and are unique to marijuana. Many scientific studies focus on the
primary psychoactive chemical, THC but don't know how these other cannabinoids affect the various organs,
brain, and behavior.
Grades of Marijuana
Low-grade marijuana is made from leaves of both sexes of the plant.
Medium-grade marijuana is made of the flowering tops of female plants fertilized by male plants.
High-grade marijuana is made of the flowering tops of female plants raised in isolation to male plants.
This marijuana is called sinsemilla because it does not produce a seed.
Hashish is produced when resin is collected from the Cannabis indica plant. The THC-rich resin is dried
and then compressed into a variety of forms, such as balls, cakes, or cookie-like sheets. Pieces are
then broken off, placed in pipes, and smoked or rolled into a cigarette along with tobacco or low-grade
marijuana. The Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are the main sources of hashish.
THC content of hashish can vary from 8% to 20%.
What are the Physical Effects of Marijuana usage?
When marijuana is smoked, the affects are felt in minutes. The high usually peaks within a couple of hours.
Marijuana affects users differently. The "high" can include a feeling of relaxation, improved sense perception,
and emotional well-being. Music and visual images may seem more vibrant and intense. Time seems to slow
down. Some people experience physical hunger and a range of emotion from laughter to introspection.
Marijuana does not always produce pleasant feelings and may cause paranoia and hallucinations. Emergency
room visits have increased because some people feel anxious or fearful after smoking high-grade marijuana.
Whether the marijuana is smoked or eaten, THC can remain in the body for days. About half the THC is in the
blood 20 hours after smoking. Although the initial high has disappeared, physical and mental functions may be
affected for days.
The physical effects of marijuana depend on many individual factors such as personal health, the time of day
that marijuana is used, the problems it causes, and how well a person is able to control his or her use.
Research studies have shown that one of the primary concerns for those who use marijuana is cardiovascular
damage. Marijuana causes damage to lungs that is similar to that caused by cigarettes. For people who inhale
deeply or hold the smoke in their lungs longer, the risk can be greater. One study that compared cigarette and
marijuana smokers found that marijuana smokers absorbed five times the amount of carbon monoxide, and
had five times the tar in their lungs, as compared to cigarette smokers. For those who smoke both marijuana
and cigarettes, the damage can be exponentially greater than that caused by marijuana or cigarettes alone.
Research shows that people who use marijuana more than one time during the day tend to have more social
and physical problems than those who only use in the evenings. Those who use at multiple times may also be
more likely to be smoking to avoid problems they feel unable to confront. A person who uses marijuana in
addition to alcohol or other drugs can be at additional risk. The effects of some drugs become exponentially
greater when taken together. In addition, the physical tolerance that one drug produces can sometimes affect
another drug, and lead to dependence on multiple substances.
Is Marijuana Addictive?
While marijuana is not in the same addictive league as cocaine, heroin, and even alcohol, recent studies raise
the possibility that THC affects the level of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that
affects the pleasure circuits. Many addictive drugs cause the release of dopamine from the neurons. One
report by the National Institute of Drug Abuse states that long-term marijuana use can lead to addiction for
some people. This report concludes that along with craving, withdrawal symptoms can make it hard for long-
term marijuana smokers to stop using the drug. People trying to quit report irritability, difficulty sleeping, and
Texas does not prosecute possession of drugs only. In fact, Texas will prosecute a person for possession
of drug paraphernalia. Thus, it is a separate criminal charge classified as a Class C Misdemeanor and typically
carries a penalty of $500. Normally, if one is charged with a possession of controlled substance, then a
possession of drug paraphernalia will be charged against the person, as well.
Under federal law the term drug paraphernalia means "any equipment, product or material of any kind which
is primarily intended or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, concealing, producing,
processing, preparing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled
Drug paraphernalia is any legitimate equipment, product, or material that is modified for making, using, or
concealing illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine. Drug paraphernalia
generally falls into two categories:
User-specific products are marketed to drug users to assist them in taking or concealing illegal drugs. These
products include certain pipes, smoking masks, bongs, cocaine freebase kits, marijuana grow kits, roach clips,
and items such as hollowed out cosmetic cases or fake pagers used to conceal illegal drugs.
Dealer-specific products are used by drug traffickers for preparing illegal drugs for distribution at the street
level. Items such as scales, vials, and baggies fall into this category. Drug paraphernalia does not include any
items traditionally used with tobacco, like pipes and rolling papers.
With the rise of the drug culture in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, the country began to see the
appearance of "head shops," which were stores that sold a wide range of drug paraphernalia. While some of
the paraphernalia was crude and home-made, much was being commercially manufactured to cater to a fast-
growing market. Enterprising individuals even sold items openly in the street, until anti-paraphernalia laws in
the 1980s eventually ended such blatant sales. Today, law enforcement faces another challenge. With the
advent of the Internet, criminals have greatly expanded their illicit sales to a worldwide market for drug
paraphernalia. For example, in a recent law enforcement effort, Operation Pipedreams, the 18 companies
targeted accounted for more than a quarter of a billion dollars in retail drug paraphernalia sales annually.
Typically, such illicit businesses operate retail stores as well as websites posing as retailers of legitimate
tobacco accessories when in reality the products are intended for the illegal drug trade.
Identifying drug paraphernalia can be challenging because products often are marketed as though they were
designed for legitimate purposes. Marijuana pipes and bongs, for example, frequently carry a misleading
disclaimer indicating that they are intended to be used only with tobacco products. Recognizing drug
paraphernalia often involves considering other factors such as the manner in which items are displayed for
sale, descriptive materials or instructions accompanying the items, and the type of business selling the items.
The Charles Johnson Law Firm is experienced in marijuana-related matters involving:
Search and seizure laws
Search warrants, wiretapping and surveillance
Contact the Best Houston Marijuana Possession Lawyer: The Charles Johnson
Before someone can be convicted of marijuana possession in Houston, the state must prove that the accused
actually had possession or took action to control the drug. Drug possession cases are complicated and depend
the police's adherence to strict guidelines concerning search and seizure of the drug.
As you could be facing fines, probation, drug classes, community service, and jail, it is crucial that you speak
with an experienced Houston criminal attorney if you have been accused of this crime. Our team at the
Charles Johnson Law Firm is well-equipped to handle any type of drug crime, including those involving
possession of marijuana and/or drug paraphernalia. We understand that mistakes can happen and not
everyone who has been accused of a crime is guilty. No matter how serious you may believe your case to
be, contact The Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson directly by calling (713) 222-7577 anytime, day
or night to discuss your case.
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Arrested for Marijuana Possession or Sales? The Best Houston Lawyer
Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
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Houston Lawyer Charles Johnson
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815 Walker Street #1047
Houston, TX 77002
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: (713) 222-7577
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