How Much Weed is a Felony in Texas?

Man holding out a recreational marijuana joint

Because weed is still federally illegal, and the criminalization of personal-use marijuana is a state-level decision, the laws and penalties surrounding possession can vary greatly from state to state. This can lead to confusion and misunderstanding, especially for individuals traveling from one state to another. So, what are the Texas marijuana laws? What are the penalties for having marijuana? And how much weed is a felony in Texas?

In Texas, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. Possession of any amount of marijuana for personal use is considered a criminal offense and can result in fines, jail time, and a criminal record. Possession charges will be elevated to a felony when the amount of marijuana in possession exceeds four ounces. Possession of more than four ounces is a state jail felony, and can carry a punishment of up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 — but the higher the amount possessed, the higher the punishments go. 

In this article, winning Laredo criminal defense lawyer, Javier Guzman, will be discussing the specific laws and penalties surrounding marijuana possession in Texas, including what constitutes a felony offense.

Is weed legal in Texas?

Weed is illegal in the state of Texas for both recreational and medical purposes with the exception of a short list of diagnosed conditions. These individuals must obtain a prescription from a doctor and register with the state to legally possess and use (mostly low THC) medical marijuana. 

Possession of medical marijuana without proper registration is still considered a criminal offense and can result in penalties. Although some states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, Texas has not followed in their footsteps. The possession, sale, and distribution of marijuana are all still illegal under Texas law.

While state laws are beginning to change, even in Texas, it is important to note that marijuana still remains illegal at the federal level in the United States. The Controlled Substances Act classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which signifies that it is considered to have a high potential for abuse and has no currently accepted medical use. However, enforcement of this law varies, and in many states, federal authorities have chosen not to prosecute individuals or businesses that comply with state laws.

Learn more about first-time drug possession charges in Texas.

Will Texas legalize marijuana?

Cannabis laws in Texas have tried to relax in recent years, with the Texas House of Representatives passing many bills to that effect, including a bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in 2023. However, this bill and all bills like it have not been passed into law, and the possession of any amount of marijuana remains illegal in Texas.

That said, multiple large municipalities do not prosecute for personal amounts of marijuana; however, many still do, and penalties for weed charges are still hefty. Many states have already legalized or are considering legalizing marijuana for recreational use and it is difficult to predict if and when Texas will follow suit. Therefore, it is important to stay informed on any changes to state laws and to always follow them accordingly.

What is the penalty for having marijuana in Texas?

As mentioned above, the possession, sale, and distribution of marijuana are all illegal in Texas, and consequences will depend on the amount of marijuana found in an individual’s possession.

Here is a breakdown of possible penalties for various weed charges in Texas:

Marijuana possession and cultivation penalties

AmountChargeJail TimeMaximum Fine
2 oz or lessMisdemeanor180 days$2,000
2 – 4 ozMisdemeanor1 year$4,000
4 oz to 5 lbsFelony180 days – 2 years$10,000
5 – 50 lbsFelony2 – 10 years$10,000
50 – 2,000 lbsFelony2 – 20 years$10,000
More than 2,000 lbsFelony5 – 99 years$50,000

Marijuana sale and distribution penalties

AmountChargeJail TimeMaximum Fine
7 g or less (for no money)Misdemeanor180 days$2,000
7 g or lessMisdemeanor1 year$4,000
7 g to 5 lbsFelony180 days – 2 years$10,000
5 – 50 lbsFelony2 – 20 years$10,000
50 – 2,000 lbsFelony5 – 99 years$50,000

Marijuana paraphernalia

AmountChargeJail TimeMaximum Fine
Possession of paraphernaliaMisdemeanorN/A$500
Sale of paraphernalia (first offense)Misdemeanor1 year$4,000
Sale of paraphernalia (subsequent offense)Felony90 days – 1 year$4,000
Sale to a minorFelony180 days – 2 years$10,000

Whether you’re facing charges for possession, sale, or distribution of marijuana in Texas, it’s important to consult with a criminal defense lawyer who can advise you on the best course of action for your specific situation as penalties for conviction are steep, even for small possession charges.

In Texas, how much weed is a felony?

To break down the above penalty charts,  possession of any amount of marijuana up to four ounces is considered a misdemeanor offense in Texas. Possession of more than four ounces is punishable as a felony offense and can result in severe penalties, including steep fines and mandatory imprisonment.

It’s also important to note that these penalties may be enhanced if the individual has previous drug convictions or if other aggravating factors are present. For example, selling or distributing marijuana in a school zone can result in enhanced penalties, but even the possession of a scale or a few small baggies can also cause local authorities to enhance the charge to “intent to distribute” for which possession of over seven grams is a felony. 

How do marijuana charges relate to DWI charges?

In Texas, driving while intoxicated (DWI) can also refer to impairment from substances other than alcohol, such as marijuana. If a law enforcement officer suspects a driver is under the influence of marijuana, the officer can arrest the driver on suspicion of DWI. The penalties for a DWI involving marijuana are similar to those involving alcohol and can be severe, quickly turning into a felony offense if there are previous DWI convictions or if serious injury or death is involved. For cases of this nature, you’ll want to find a trial-tested DWI attorney.

Facing a felony charge for weed in Laredo, Texas? You need to call Guzman Law Firm, and fast.

So, how much weed is a felony in Texas? Marijuana drug charges are elevated to a felony when the quantity in possession exceeds 4 ounces. If you are facing a marijuana charge in Texas, it is important to seek legal representation from Guzman Law Firm as soon as possible. Javier Guzman, a skilled criminal defense lawyer, can evaluate your case and work towards getting your charges reduced or dropped altogether.

Whether you’re looking at charges for fentanyl possession or need an aggressive Laredo drug trafficking attorney, Javier has the experience and knowledge to fight for your rights and protect your future in both state and criminal courts. 

To schedule a conversation, call Guzman Law Firm at (956) 516-7198 or contact us online today.

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