TX Hemp & Marijuana Law – New Laws for 2019

The laws have changed in Texas for 2019 and Low-THC products like hemp plant, hemp-oil, and CBD-oil are legal, if they contain less than 0.3% THC.  This is nowhere near full-scale legalization of cannabis, or even legalization for medical use – but, it IS a big step for the state of Texas.  Additionally, there are implications on Marijuana and Cannabis oil (THC) prosecutions, as a result of the new lab, and the State laboratories inability to quantify, or measure, the amount of THC in a plant or oil.  The range of consequences for possession of the plant or the oil is more drastic than ever across the state of Texas – in some neighboring counties you could face the disparate consequences of a dismissal with a class completion in one county, or a guilty plea or felony trial in another.

What does the new law say?

On June 10, 2019, Governor Abbot signed House Bill 1325, what has become known as the Hemp Farming Act (Act). The Act was passed with the intention of promoting the cultivation and processing of hemp and hemp products.  See HB 1325 sec. 2(b)(2). Although it is agreed that the bill became effective upon signing, it is disputed whether it applies retroactively

Under the new law “hemp” plant, and its seeds, derivatives, extracts,etc., with a (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent.

How does this affect people charged with Marijuana or THC oil?

The unintended consequence of the law change is that there is added difficulty proving possession of Marijuana and THC, or cannabis oil.  This is because the laboratories around the state cannot distinguish between Hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC, and higher concentration Cannabis plant or THC-oil.  The labs in the state of TX can currently only detect the presence of THC and cannot quantify the amount. 

Now, to prove possession of marijuana or THC-oil, the state must prove possession and also prove that the substance is actually marijuana or a THC containing product with over 0.3% THC. 

The added element that the State of Texas must now prove in a Marijuana or THC-oil case is that “the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the marijuana contained THC greater than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.” COnsidering that the labs cannot prove up the allegation (unless new methods are develloped and implemented), the State must prove this up through other evidence, including admissions and physical evidence indicating the item has a higher THC concentration.  This is the element that has prompted many prosecutors to no longer accept marijuana charges, and to go so far as to instruct law enforcement agencies not to file marijuana cases unless THC levels can be proven to be above the 0.3 percent threshold.

If I am suspected of Marijuana or THC oil possession, what should I do?

#1 DO NOT make any admissions about possession of Marijuana or THC-oil.

2 – DO NOT keep Marijuana or THC-oil products in the original packaging that indicates it is a high-THC cannabis product!

CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA OR THC?

If accused of a drug crime, including Possession of Marijuana or Cannabis Oil (THC), you need an attorney with proven results, winning cases.  Attorney Tristan LeGrande gets results – CALL NOW for a Free Consultation!

Contact attorney Tristan LeGrande

281-684-3500

AFFIRMATIVE LINKS – WHY You Should NOT Plead to Your Friends Drugs!

A common scenario: A driver and two passengers are stopped for a traffic violation. The law enforcement officer thinks he smells the distinct odor of marijuana coming from within your vehicle.  Now, he has all of the passengers on the curb and is tearing apart the inside of your ride.  He finds illegal substances in the vehicle.

Who gets charged when the drugs are found in a vehicle with mutual access?

Good question.  Here’s a lawyer answer: it depends.  (Please read on, regardless…they must be able to affirmatively link you to the controlled substances or other contraband they want to charge you with).

OK…now I’m charged for Drug Possession, BUT THEY’RE NOT MY DRUGS!  How do they prove Possession?

Another good question, you’re on a roll.  Under the Texas Health and Safety Code, possession is defined as “care, custody, control or management,” of the controlled substance at issue.

MANY PEOPLE plead guilty to drugs that cannot be linked to them. 

It is CRUCIAL to consult with an attorney that is an expert in possession.

CALL Attorney Tristan LeGrande of LeGrande Law!

So How do they prove Possession anyway?

Possession– actual care, custody, control, or management.  TX Health & Safety Code Sec. 481.002(a)(38).

  • Driving vehicle where drugs found insufficient – you must prove: “affirmative links“:
    • State must prove the defendant exercised actual care, custody, control, or management over the contraband and (2) knew the object he possessed was contraband. Linton v. State, 15 S.W.3d 615, 619 (Tex.App.–Houston [14th Dist.] 2000, pet. ref’d).
    • Affirmative Links may be proved by circumstantial evidence, such evidence must affirmatively link the defendant to the offense, so that one may reasonably infer the defendant knew of the contraband’s existence and exercised control over it. See McGoldrick v. State, 682 S.W.2d 573, 578 (Tex.Crim.App.1985).
  • Affirmative links between the appellant & contraband include:
    • (1) appellant’s presence when the contraband was discovered;
    • (2) whether the contraband was in plain view;
    • (3) appellant’s proximity to and accessibility of the narcotic;
    • (4) whether the appellant was under the influence of narcotics when arrested;
    • (5) whether appellant possessed other contraband when arrested;
    • (6) whether appellant made incriminating statements when arrested;
    • (7) whether appellant attempted to flee;
    • (8) whether appellant made furtive gestures;
    • (9) whether there was an odor of the contraband;
    • (10) whether other contraband or drug paraphernalia was present;
    • (11) whether the place where the drugs were found was enclosed; and
    • (12) whether appellant owned or had the right to possess the place where the drugs were found.

Chavez v. State, 769 S.W.2d 284, 288-89 (Tex.App.–Houston [1st Dist.] 1989, pet. ref’d).

So what does this mean??  It means you should not even consider pleading  guilty to drug possession charges unless they were your drugs.  Just because you are in the car with someone that is holding, does not mean you can be charged with possession of the drugs they have on them!

If charged with possession of marijuana or possession of a controlled substance, DO NOT PLEAD GUILTY – Instead, contact LeGrande Law…we have a track record of winning drug possession cases!

LEGRANDE LAW WINS DRUG POSSESSION CASES

If you are accused of any drug crime, including Possession of THC Concentrate, or other controlled substances, you need an attorney with a track record of winning drug cases.  Attorney Tristan LeGrande gets results – CALL NOW for a Free Consultation!

Contact attorney Tristan LeGrande by calling 281-684-3500

http://www.legrandelaw.com

http://www.houstondrugattorney.net

Houston Drug Attorney Tristan LeGrande

Tristan LeGrande – LeGrande Law

Man Claims Dr. Prescribed He Eat 15 Lbs. / Week of Marijuana

I am going to go out on a limb and guess that Enrique Esguerra of California was high when he told officers his medical condition required he consume marijuana rather than smoking it – TO THE TUNE OF 15 POUNDS A WEEK.

Mr. Esguerra was arrested after attempting to bring more than 3 pounds of marijuana aboard a flight at San Francisco International Airport, which he claimed was for his personal use.  It gets weirder.  He allegedly told police that he was a voracious consumer of marijuana, and that a doctor had ordered that he consume large amounts, rather than smoking it.  aaaimg_0546

Esguerra had a California medical marijuana card with him when he was arrested, however, the amount he had in his possession was far outside the permitted amount you are allowed to possess under California law.

Court-room Drama Ends in Conviction

Following a five-day trial that ended earlier this week, a jury convicted Esguerra of felony possession of marijuana for sale and felony transportation of marijuana.

Under the California Health and Safety Code, possession of marijuana in the quantity Esguerra had is a felony with a maximum punishment of three years in state prison or county jail. Transportation of marijuana is punishable by up to four years in state prison or county jail.

But Wait, He had a Medical Marijuana Card, Right?Under California medical marijuana law, a qualified patient may possess up to eight ounces (or 1/2 pound) of dried marijuana.

Esguerra relied on a caveat to the permissible level, that states that a patient with a “doctor’s recommendation that this quantity does not meet the qualified patient’s medical needs” may possess “an amount of marijuana consistent with the patient’s needs.”

While that law may have worked in Esguerra’s favor had he been caught with pot at his San Francisco home, airports are a different story. Federal laws apply to U.S. airspace, and TSA agents are required to confiscate marijuana if they see it.

In this case, jurors agreed with prosecutors that Esguerra had violated the law. He is out on $15,000 bail and is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

Arrested for Possession of Marijuana?

If you’ve been accused of any offense involving Marijuana (including possession of Marijuana)

or any drug crime,  contact attorney Tristan LeGrande by calling 281-684-3500.

http://www.legrandelaw.com

http://www.houstondrugattorney.net

Houston Drug Attorney Tristan LeGrande

NY Times: Legal Pot in Colorado “causes problems”

I put “causes problems” in quotes because, as an attorney, causality is an important thing for me. The recent story that ran in the New York Times about a man that supposedly consumed too much marijuana laced edibles, began hallucinating and ended up killing his wife with a gun.  Tracing the end result – a murder – back to a single cause: the legalization of marijuana in Colorado.

The article goes on to detail the story of the college student who ate too much pot and fell from a Denver hotel balcony to his death. It told of budchildren winding up in emergency rooms after sneaking into adult supplies of candy and other fun-looking snacks infused with THC. It told of neighboring states overwhelmed by drivers coming to Colorado for pot and returning stoned behind the wheel.

OBJECTION.  The problem with this story is the impression.  Legalization did not cause these problems.  Lack of proper regulation and irresponsible people caused these problems.

And legalization being the cause of the unfortunate murder of the man’s wife discussed earlier is a stretch.  What the story does not tell us is what else was going on this man’s life.  What mental condition was he in before he ate too many cosmic cookies.  Was he mentally ill?  Were there problems with his marriage.

Do we blame Jack Daniels when a man drinks too many shots of Kentucky Bourbon and beats someone to death in a bar fight – likewise, do would we blame the alcohol if that same man drove his car head on into a school bus full of kids?

Don’t blame the “demon weed” for the actions people take when they do not use it responsibly.  Besides, the ONLY HOPE we have at preventing tragedies such as these is by having 1) regulation and 2) education.

The alternative?  Leave it to the black market.  I am sure they will make sure everybody uses with a sense of level headed responsibility.

[The headline from the New York Times printed on June 1st – After Five Months of Sales, Colorado Sees the Downside of a Legal High ]

Arrested for a Possession of Marijuana?

Arrested for a Drug Crime?

If you’ve been accused of any offense involving Marijuana (including possession of Marijuana) or any drug crime,  contact attorney Tristan LeGrande by calling 281-684-3500.