Despite the almost inevitable legalization of marijuana taking place throughout the United States after successfully testing the heavily-taxed recreational substance in states like Colorado, the drug is still criminalized on the federal level as well as in most states.
In Texas, a 19-year-old man from Round Rock currently faces possible life in prison for baking and selling brownies that contained marijuana. The minimum sentence Jacob Lavoro faces is five years, still a lengthy sentence for a crime involving a substance that is legal just a few states away.
According to WFMYNews2, police claim the penalty has been set so high because the brownies were made using hash oil. That substance, however, is also readily available for legal purchase in other states, even in ones that only have medical marijuana laws.
Another likely reason the penalty is so high is because of the amount of drugs that Lavoro may have been selling. Police allegedly discovered a list of Lavaro’s clients as well as more than $1,600 in cash.
Lavaro, however, claims that police did not have the authority to search his home, as they did not have a warrant and he did not give them consent. Law enforcement officials arrived at his home and began searching it after receiving a call from a neighbor who claimed to smell marijuana.
According to NORML, Texas punishes individuals possessing 2 ounces or less of marijuana as a misdemeanor, with a sentence of 180 days and a maximum fine of $2,000. Possession of less than 1 gram of hash, however, is treated as a felony.