Marijuana Related Penalties in Texas

Laws relating to marijuana in Texas are draconian and complex:


  • Possession of 2oz or less of marijuana: maximum jail sentence of 180 days; maximum fine of $2,000
  • Possession of more than 2oz of marijuana: maximum one year in jail; maximum fine of $4,000
  • Possession of more than 4oz of marijuana: minimum 180 days in jail with maximum sentence of two years; maximum fine of $10,000
  • Possession of more than 5lbs of marijuana: minimum 2 years to maximum 10 years in prison; maximum fine of $10,000
  • Possession of more than 50lbs of marijuana: minimum 2 years to maximum 20 years in prison; maximum fine of $10,000
  • Possession of any amount greater than 2,000lbs marijuana: minimum 5 years to maximum 99 years in prison; maximum fine of $50,000


  • Delivery, without remuneration of up to¼
    oz marijuana:
    maximum 180 days in jail; maximum fine of $2,000
  • Delivery or sale of amounts greater than ¼oz marijuana: minimum 180 days to maximum 2 years in jail; maximum fine $10,000
  • Delivery or sale of more than 5lbs marijuana: minimum 2 years to maximum 20 years in prison; maximum fine of £10,000
  • Delivery or sale of more than 50lbs marijuana: minimum 5 years to maximum 99 years in prison; maximum fine $10,000
  • For delivery or sale of amounts of more than 2,000lbs: a mandatory minimum 10 years to maximum 99 years in prison; maximum fine $100,000

Special Considerations

  • Any sale to a minor: minimum 2 to maximum 20 years in prison; maximum fine $10,000
  • Sale within 1,000 feet of a school or within 300 feet of a youth center, public pool or video arcade: penalty increases to next highest level

Repeat Misdemeanor Offenses

  • If charged with a Class A misdemeanor and defendant has been before convicted of a Class A misdemeanor or any degree of felony: minimum 90 days to maximum 1 year in prison; maximum fine $4,000
  • If charged with a Class B misdemeanor and defendant has been before convicted of a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or any degree of felony: minimum 30 days to maximum 180 days in prison; maximum fine $2,000
  • If charged with a Class C misdemeanor and defendant has been before convicted under one or a combination of the two above three times and the prior offense was committed within 24 months of incident: more than 180 days in prison; maximum fine $2,000

Repeat Felony Offenses

  • If charged with a state jail felony punishable and defendant has previously been finally convicted of two state jail felonies: on conviction the defendant shall be punished for a third-degree felony
  • If charged with a state jail felony punishable and defendant has previously been finally convicted of two felonies, and the second previous felony conviction is for an offense that occurred subsequent to the first previous conviction having become final: on conviction the defendant shall be punished for a second-degree felony
  • If charged with a state jail felony or of a third-degree felony and defendant has been once before convicted of a felony: on conviction he shall be punished for a second-degree felony
  • If charged with a second-degree felony and the defendant has once before been convicted of a felony: on conviction he shall be punished for a first-degree felony
  • If it is a first-degree felony and defendant has been once before convicted of a felony: on conviction he shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for life, or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than 15 years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000

Legalization of Medical Marijuana in Texas

Don’t hold your breath; last year (2009) one bill failed to reach the committee stage and another, which called for reduction from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class C misdemeanor, received a hearing in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, but never received a vote.

Currently, a 52-year-old Texas man is planning to cite medical necessity as a defense after police found one marijuana plant and 1.5 ounces of cannabis at his home on September 30, 2010. The man suffers from diabetic neuropathy which results in chronic pain and insomnia and Fort Worth Attorney David Sloane intends to raise the medical necessity defense, as well as other procedural and constitutional grounds in defending the case. Sloane is a legislative committee member for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and an officer of Dallas/Fort Worth NORML chapter.

Sloan says his client lives alone on just $1,125 a month disability pension and cannot use conventional sleeping pills because they make him sleepwalk, as in an incident several years ago when, after he had taking sleeping pills:

“A neighbor found him standing in their home in the middle of the night. When they confronted him, he turned and walked out without saying a word. He was awakened the next morning by police and remembered nothing of the incident. He was charged then with burglary, which was later reduced to trespassing.”

Sloan admits to being “a little intimidated in trying this, even though my repeated application of the facts to the law in this case told me this is what I should do.”

Summary of states with pending medical marijuana legislation

Texas Medical Marijuana Bill (Draft)


Author Dianne Morgan

More posts by Dianne Morgan

Join the discussion 24 Comments


    I moved to Oregon so I do not go to jail because of marijuana. I have epilepsy, and TBI, and have been using marijuana for 10 years. I lived in Texas for years and went to jail for 1 month, again for 16 days, and had a case dropped. The active ingredient that helps control seizures is called CBA. It has been used for thousands of years and no deaths. In Texas all the courts care about is $$$$cash. My first marijuana charge was when I just turned 17, I was charged as a adult, even though I could not vote, rent a house, join the navy, And all the other adult things halft to wait till I am 18. I was smoking medical mj for my seizures at that time. That charge ruined my life, as I have a adult “drug charge” also if you have a conviction the fasfa the federal funding for college automatically is taken away for life. No other criminal charge takes school funding away. It makes getting a job more difficult.Life

  • GS says:

    I’m glad almost everybody on this page agrees’ that Marijuana should be legal in Texas or better yet nationwide but jeez people…you all (ya’ll) should at least proof read your comments before posting. Maybe your arguments would be given more merit if they sounded well formulated, intelligent and based in fact not conjecture (put your joint down and look it up) or opinion. I love Marijuana and smoke regularly so please try to sound like you’ve got a brain and not just some stoners crying for legal leniency or social acceptance. Society has already accepted Marijuana and it’s use. Even POTUS (love or hate him bur he is the President) admits to using (and inhaling) Marijuana in the past. I personally think he should start smoking it again but that’s just my opinion. Thanks for letting me rant but if this issue is ever going to change in Texas we should sound better than a bunch Jerry Springer guest whining about weed laws.

  • Ken Rock says:

    my wife is suffering with sarcoma cancer. she is currently taking oxycontin, dilauded and hydrocodone for pain, but they don’t help much. she has tried various pain block shots and even had nerves cauterized, but this just seems to have made matters worse. she has very little appetite and can’t keep half of what she eats down. she takes phenagrin for this, but it is only somewhat helpful. our concern is the damage that all these meds are doing to her. she has never done recreational drugs and has never drank alcohol or smoked cigarettes, so even considering medical marijuana is a big step for her. we have read much about the benefits, not only in pain management, but appetite as well.

  • katie says:

    I am the wife of a wonderful man who has PTSD and several other problems from a horrible accident while overseas. We live here in the state of Texas where he was raised and loves. The occasional smoke to help the pain and to ease the nightmares so he sleep is so much better than having to live with the side effects ofall the medications that he is prescribed. To have something that does not leave him feeling ” out of it’s all day or cause extreme anger then depression is a lifesaver for the whole family. Sometimes people need to realize things that are natural without all the extra chemicals is not BAD. Smoking a natural herb does not lead to addiction such as herion and cocaine that is a personal choice by the individual who chooses to go down that road. Do not be so closed minded as to put something that relaxes and slows down the body into the same catigory with things that make a persons system race and does the exact opposite. I truly wish it as legal in this state ( and fyi this is not my home state) so that the many people I know that would benifit from the wonderful effects of marijuana for pain could live without having to hide what they are doing .

  • WhRsPj says:

    I have Fibromyalgio and pain meds work for a sec then, bam! it’s like pain right back and its worse the 2nd time around. Not once did I have any pain or nausea w/ marijuana.

    I could be taking one medication versus 5 or 8 @ times, but would need to relocate so I can use the most natural substance I need help to help people relies its the best for all states, less crime by @ least 72%! Think about it?!

  • jon says:

    I think it’s about time we were able to make these choices for ourselves. I have read up on pot and being someone living in Texas and dealing with chronic pain daily that no over the counter pain reliever can seem to ease, I really am getting sick of the government of our ‘free’ nation telling me what is good or bad for me or what I can or can’t do to my own body. I am not a stupid individual and can judge what I need to for myself on my own.

    • Wolfgang P Acosta says:

      The real argument with the Texas government is how to make money off it by taxes.

      They will not make the incredible amounts by it being semi legal. Legal age to drink alcohol let be free. But ESPECIALLY IF MEDICALLY REQUIRED, GET OUT OF OUR HEALTH AND KEEP YOUR GESTAPO FDA CRIMINALS AWAY. Why tax what should be free to use. Remember the lies used to make it illegal in the first place. You aren’t here when I cry in vicious pain. Hypocrites. Bible Belt Hypocrites at best. But really money hungry.

      Stop the wars. End the bases all over the world. End the FED Reserve.

  • buy cheap cars says:

    Work towards a full fledged medical marijuana bill in the state of Texas. Work with a civic organization that would support medical marijuana in Texas.

  • Wyatt Larew says:

    I am at the end stages of Aspergers disease.

    Everything I eat tastes like yellow vyle like you would throw up after a hard night of drinking. Marijuana is pretty much the only thing keeping me alive. I do not belive it is fair that millions of other sick people like me in America are able to use marijuana legaly and I am not.

    Do I live in the United Republic of Texas or the United States of America. I am being descriminated against because of where I live. Maybe one day the people will take charge and make sure that all americans have the same opportunity. With the current Texas administration that will never happen. I won’t be alive to see it happen unfortuantly.

    Peace out Wyatt J. Larew

    • emmy says:

      Please correct your statements.
      Aspergers does not have “end stages”.
      Aspergers is not a fatal condition…
      If someone has told you this, they were severely mistaken.
      Congratulations, you’re going to live!
      Aspergers is simply a highly functional form of autism.
      And there is no such thing as vyle that you throw up.
      The word you were looking for was bile.

  • lil munachi says:

    I do agree with those of you saying they should legalize marijuana.

    I mean the worst thing it is capable of is giving you a mad case of the munchies, so technically it’s harmless… unless of couse you have something against eating junk food and such. But yea man, it’s a peaceful and wonderful plant that god himself left us.

    All these bastards care about is money, so why not tax it, you know… I mean i’d rather pay $10.99 for a damn dimebag, and not have to risk getting penalized for it, than pay some guy in my ghetto neighborhood $10.00, risking both getting caught and losing my life (: keep tha joints rollin’ legal or not! Taylor Gang out

  • Mike says:

    I have MS, since 1987, and founds it lets me lazy, have read of the other states, going foward, were it is legal, the states are maying money, drinking is worst, but it is legal, you do not hear of a a person smolking and killing some one and causing and accident someone

  • Walter Clemmons says:

    P.S. The club takes out of state I.D.

    Walter Clemmons

  • Walter Clemmons says:

    Yes, If you go to the Board Walk (Ocean Front Walk) in Venice, Ca. go to the Kush Club @ 523 OFW, there they have a Doctor who can write you a prescription and also a pharmacy that sells medical marijuana and you may also sit inside and smoke. They also have a Hash bar @ $8.00 a pipe load, more that enough to become medicated. Enjoy.

    Walter Clemmons.

  • Mia says:

    How can I get medical marijuana in general? I heard its really hard but I want to try it out and see if it works. I know you have to be over the age of 18 and you can ony have it in the states with a card saying its legal.

    Can I travel to cali and get some or what? Pleasee help thanks!

  • jon says:

    We’re all preaching to the choir here but I am a Texas native and also like our state.

    However, out of all of the states in our country, Texas is one of the most backwards and overly conservative.

    It will probably be the last state to sign due to the way people think here. People are too dumb to realize are the reasons why it’s illegal in the first place. And that’s because they have always believed what they heard and therefore didn’t research the truth or read between the political lines. But, there’s hope. Because the vast majority in the country now know the truth.

  • leonard sweatt says:

    they should make maryjane leagal it helps me after my eye sight went bad and it helps with my headaches and naseau there is a difference between using it and abusing it

  • David says:

    I have PTSD from an accident when i was 12 that nearly cost me my life.

    I live in Texas also grew and let me tell you the courts dont give a damn about anyone who uses it as medicinal use, even those with HIV or seizures, they just dont care. I can’t wait and hope that Texas laws change soon cause this is my home, I love Texas with all my heart and no other state compares to this one.

    I shouldnt have to hide my use of it nor should i be look down upon and crimilized for the use of marijuana. I dont kill, i dont steal, my usuage doesnt hurt anyone, not even myself. So change the laws, get a life and quit worrying about who uses a plant to heal, especially if it doesnt harm anyone.

    • You must not love Texas very much because you want to legalize a gateway drug that can lead to cocaine and/or heroin use. Please go to California or Colorado and get high as much and as often as you desire!

      • Hayden says:

        Marijuana is not a gate-way drug. Do you think what people think about when they’re stoned is shooting up some heroin? NO. I WANT A BAG OF CHIPS AND A SODA WHEN IM STONED. Marijuana does not alter the body to give a high such as cocaine and heroin. Also, I don’t remember the last time someone planted cocaine or heroin in the ground and nature gave it to them back. Comparing cocaine and heroin to Marijuana is offensive to those who use Marijuana as a medical necessity AND TO NATURE.

        I am so tired of Texas conservatives completely ignoring the truth about Marijuana, because they are conserving the amount of knowledge they can have.

      • derrick says:

        What is your problem?. If anything is a “gateway drug”
        Its all the pills sold by the pharmaceutical companies!
        Weed got me off of my drug addiction and has never caused one death, on the contrary pills and alcohol
        Have killed more ppl than anything. If I could legally smoke medical marijuana, than I wouldn’t have to keep killing my liver with the pills I have to take for my chronic pain, sleeping problem, and to gain water from my fast metabolism. Do some research the next time you wanna look down ur nose at someone. Ppl like you
        Ruin everything that could save life’s in many different ways and help our debt. Stop thinking about ur pocket book and start thinking of helping sick ppl.

      • I am a born and bred Texan,I have smoked Marijuana in the past,have held various law enforcement job’s and always held a Capt.or higher Supervisory position while in the field of this career,and while in these positions I would have to quit smoking due to random testing which was fine,(15yrs)was the longest time,I hated it simply due to the stress of that environment and the toll on my family!&Health! it caused (while working there)If i was able to smoke after work and days off i would probably still be there as a supervisor!,It never lead me to want to use anything else and I never had any difficulty stopping after long periods of use and no withdraw! So thats why I can confidently say Sharon Rabon Is A FRICKING IDIOT!!!!! without any doubt,So the gateway drug propaganda preached by IDIOTS just like this FOOL!! doesnt Fly well with me and is for the very week minded and also uninformed(Read Medical Research),and who Blindly follow anything & everything the media & gov.tells them if fact (FOOLS)!!!!!

  • jocy says:

    I think they should just legalize marijuana. it would be much easier for the economy. and it would stop alot of crime, and there will be no more killing. The people that really need it would get better faster… thats my opinion… just legalize maryjane.

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