Delivery of Marijuana in Texas | Delivery of Marijuana Charges Defenses

delivery of marijuana

In October 2015, Gallup polls reported that 58% of Americans favored legalization of marijuana. The following year, Gallup released a poll showing 33 million Americans smoked marijuana. (Compare this to 40 million cigarette smokers.) Recently, a Pew Research Center study shows an astonishing 68% of officers support legalization or decriminalization of marijuana.

While possession of marijuana for personal or medical use becomes legal in a growing number of states in the United States, and jurisdictions in Texas decline prosecution of these charges, one thing is clear: the sale and delivery of marijuana is not expected to become legal in Texas anytime soon.

Is it legal to grow marijuana in Texas?

No. Growing marijuana will subject you to charges for possession of marijuana. Selling marijuana will result in charges for delivery of marijuana.

Delivery of Marijuana in Texas

Marijuana, under the Texas Health and Safety Code, is defined to include the “plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not, the seeds of that plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of that plant or its seeds.” Tex. Health & Safety Code § 481.002 (26). The term “deliver” encompasses the sale of marijuana. Under the Texas Health and Safety Code, to “deliver” also includes the transfer of marijuana to another. The transfer can be an actual transfer or a constructive transfer. Tex. Health & Safety Code § 481.120. A constructive transfer involves an indirect transfer where the person delivering still allows for a change of possession, such as keys to a car or hotel room where the marijuana is located. Even taking all the steps to secure a transaction may be enough to satisfy this element. Torres v. State, 667 S.W.2d 190, 194 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi 1983)

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Under Texas Health & Safety Code § 481.120, a person commits the offense of Delivery of Marijuana if they knowingly or intentionally deliver marijuana. The punishment becomes more severe depending on the amount of marijuana involved. Punishment can also vary depending on whether a payment took place. These charges impose stricter sentences for a smaller amount of marijuana than a similar possession charge.

1/4 oz or less without payClass B misdemeanorup to 180 days in county jail, $0-2,000 fine
1/4 oz or less with payClass A misdemeanorup to a year in county jail,$0-4,000 fine
1/4 oz to 5lbsState Jail Felony180 days to 2 years in state jail, $0-10,000 fine
5 to 50 lbsSecond Degree Felony2-20 years in state prison, $0-10,000 fine
50 to 2,000 lbsFirst Degree Felony5-99 years or life in state prison, $0-10,000 fine
2,000 lbs or moreFirst Degree Felony10-99 years or life in state prison, $0-100,000 fine

Delivery of Marijuana in a Drug-Free Zone

If the delivery of marijuana takes place within a drug-free zone, such as within 1,000 feet of a school, playground, or public or private youth center, the punishment for the crime will increase by one level. For instance, under Texas Health & Safety Code § 481.134, a state jail felony delivery taking place in a drug-free zone will become a third-degree felony with corresponding punishments and sentences. Additionally, under Texas Health & Safety Code § 481.122, delivering marijuana to a person under 18 years of age or who is enrolled in a primary or secondary school has committed a second-degree felony.

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Benson Varghese

Managing Partner at Varghese Summersett PLLC
Benson Varghese is the founder and Managing Partner of Varghese Summersett PLLC. He is a prolific writer and has authored hundreds of articles about criminal law in Texas and at the Federal level. His articles have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Above the Law, and have been selected as Top Blogs by the State Bar of Texas. He was named the Young Lawyer of the Year in 2019 by the Tarrant County Bar Association. Benson led the firm to become one of the 500 fastest growing businesses in the United States by Inc 500 Magazine in 2018. In the same year, the firm was named the Best Law Firm in Fort Worth by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The lawyers at Varghese Summersett PLLC exclusively handle criminal defense matters.
Benson Varghese