Texas legislation seeks to more fairly assess penalties for cannabis concentrates and infused products

A bill introduced by Rep. Terry Canales addresses the unreasonable way charges are levied against those in possession of cannabis oil or infused products like lozenges or baked goods.

Currently, infused edible products carry significantly higher penalties than simple possession of marijuana. For example, a person caught with a batch of brownies made with marijuana would face an automatic felony charge. Worse, though, the person would be charged with the entire weight of the brownie, including the flour, chocolate, eggs, sugar, etc. A few years ago, a young man in Williamson County faced 99 years to life in state prison for a batch of marijuana brownies.

If enacted, HB 186 would only allow prosecution for the amount of marijuana in the product. It will still be a felony, but will be much more reasonably assessed.

“If we are going to continue to waste tax-payer dollars by incarcerating people for marijuana possession, we should not be charging people for the weight of the container which leads to an over-inflation of the weight of the substance and heavier criminal penalties,” says Rep. Terry Canales, an attorney and long-standing member of the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. “Current law allows law enforcement to over-zealously increase criminal penalties for Texans and we, the taxpayers, are paying for it.”

More information about the bill:

HB 186 (Rep. Terry Canales) — Relating to the determination of the weight of marihuana and other tetrahydrocannabinols for the purpose of the prosecution and punishment of the offense of possession of those substances.

Here you can find a fill list of all marijuana-related bills in Texas: http://www.texasmarijuanapolicy.org/2018/11/12/txmjpolicy-all-marijuana-related-bills-filed-in-texas/

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