Marijuana Tourism and Texas: The Lesson of Jacob Lavoro
As marijuana product lines flourish and recreational marijuana is legalized in nearby Colorado, what does it mean to Dallas? Serious charges in you’re caught with pot in any form: Texas law has not changed.
Today, nineteen year old Jacob Lavoro and his family got some great news: the Williamson County District Attorney decided to drop the 1st Degree felony drug charges that were filed against Lavoro. The national news coverage of the two-count indictment against the teenager over some hemp oil brownies may have influenced things here. The petition presented to the prosecution, with over 243,000 signatures on it in support of Jacob Lavoro not facing such a draconian punishment probably had a little sway, too.
The Saga of Texas Teen Jacob Lavoro and His Homemade Pot Brownies
Down in Round Rock (which is just north of Austin), back in April, the local police got a call from Jacob Lavoro’s pregnant neighbor, who complained to them that the smoke coming out of Lavoro’s apartment was making her queasy, and couldn’t the cops do something about it?
So, the Round Rock cops went over to visit with young Mr. Lavoro, and discovered the source of the malevolent odor was a big batch of brownies that Lavoro was baking. Seems Jason was baking some Magic Brownies — but instead of using the weed itself, Lavoro was doing something very 21st Century: he was adding hash oil to his batter.
Many would find this a clever alternative to diced plant substance in their baked goods. Maybe the police thought Lavoro was clever, too.
Don’t know about that — but we do know that the police took the brownies and weighed them on a scale, and then arrested the young man for having around 1.5 pounds of an illegal drug with intent to sell. (They found a list of folk interested in those brownies, and took it with them as a “client list” for their arrest warrant. Hence, the intent to sell charge.)
Under current Texas drug laws, it was fine and dandy for the police to weigh that entire container of brownies in order to determine the basis for their drug charge. Forget the fact that much of that weight was from things found in your grandmother’s pantry: flour, butter, cocoa, etc. — the Texas Penal Code allows the entire batch to be considered in the charge.
Which meant that Jacob Lavoro suddenly faced life in prison based upon a first degree felony charge. Until this week.
Now, the prosecutors have dropped that 1st degree felony charge, but Lavoro still has to defend himself against a 2d Degree felony drug possession charge as well as a lesser possession charge. He’s not out of the woods yet: that 2d Degree charge could get Lavoro up to 20 years behind bars.
This is still a serious marijuana defense case. But today was very good news for Jason Lavoro.
Be Aware That Marijuana Remains a Serious Felony In Texas
There’s more good things coming out of the Lavoro coverage today than the news that a 19-year-old with a batch of pot brownies no longer has the horror of a potential life term in a Texas prison to fight.
There’s the lesson to every teenager and young adult who thinks pot is fine, and that the new creative marijuana products that are being marketed online and in person up in Colorado (and Washington State) are cool and fun and enticing.
Consider this, right now it is possible to buy things like:
- Marijuana soda (with 10 mg of liquid THC (oil))
- Marijuana bottled iced coffee (with lesser THC mg. than marijuana sodas)
- Marijuana cookies (edibles)
- Marijuana vapor pens (akin to the trending nicotine electronic cigarettes being sold everywhere).
These kinds of marijuana products are being sold on the Internet. They are also available in shops and stores now.
Those of a certain age will remember the days when Coors Beer was not available in Texas. It was a very fun and cool thing to drive up to Colorado, fill your trunk with cases of Coors, and return home to Texas where you could share your largesse with your friends. Coors at a party back then was a very cool thing to have.
Today, many will find it tempting to drive up to Colorado and grab some of these new pot products with the idea of returning home to share them with friends. They may think this is safer than ordering the stuff online and having it delivered to their apartment or dorm room.
Warning, warning, warning — Texas law finds marijuana in whatever form it takes to be highly illegal. For more information on how serious marijuana drug laws are in the State of Texas, read our earlier post, “Texas Marijuana Laws: Strict Drug Laws Now As Marijuana Is Absolutely Illegal In Texas, But Will This Change And Can You Still Be Arrested For Pot In Texas?”
The Lovaro Lesson for Texans
Just because you bought something in Colorado in a legal transaction DOES NOT MAKE IT LEGAL TO POSSESS HERE IN TEXAS.
If you want to travel to Colorado as part of the growing “marijuana tourism” then that is your decision. That’s legal. That’s fine. Go to Rome and do as the Romans do, to borrow from the old adage.
Just remember that you need to be clean and clear of any THC-related product when you cross that Texas state line. If you don’t, and you’re caught, then you may well be facing serious felony charges, just like Jacob Lovaro does right now.
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