Texas is protesting how marijuana brownies may cause teenager Jacob Lavoro to spend life in prison if he receives the maximum penalty for making and selling pot brownies laced with cannabis hash oil.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, cops in Florida are claiming that marijuana legalization will cause crime rates to increase, but crime statistics from Denver, Colorado, show crime rates dropping ever since their marijuana legalization bill went into effect. Even as New York is considering legalizing marijuana, the political argument took a religious twist when Pope Francis condemned marijuana legalization efforts in the United States.
In the past we have reported on the initial arrest of Lavoro:
"19-year-old Jacob Lavoro was arrested in April when police in Round Rock, TX searched his apartment while responding to a complaint about marijuana use. The officers found 1.5 pounds of brownies, along with a pound of marijuana, digital scales, $1,675 in cash, and dozens of baggies containing both marijuana and hash oil. In the state of Texas, possession of more than 4 grams of hash oil can be enough for a first degree felony. Williamson County prosecutor Travis McDonald says the sentencing range for Lavoro is five to 99 years or life in prison, and will depend on aggravating factors and other considerations."
The reason pot brownies carry such a high price is because Texas specifically has a law that lists hash oil as a controlled substance and, as such, carries higher criminal penalties. The officers who arrested the teen also counted the total weight of the baked goods, which put his punishment in the range of fives years to life in prison. But the lab results for the actual amount of THC in the pot brownies has not yet come back.
Facing such a high sentence has Lavoro pointing out that, before this incident, he was never in trouble with the law:
"I've never been in trouble. All I have on my record is a seatbelt ticket. I never expected to be in this situation."
In response to his predicament, protest groups gathered around the Williamson County Justice Complex in support of Lavoro this past week. Texas NORML Deputy Director Jax Finkel claims the penalty for his crime is way too severe:
"All the people you see here today feel this is a huge miscarriage of justice. Even the writer of the bill that allows them to include additives says this is not the intention of the law that nonviolent offenders should face that type of penalty in jail."
Lavoro has already bonded out and his next court date is set for August 6, 2014. His attorney is attempting to get the entire case thrown out and he filed a motion to "suppress the evidence discovered in the apartment because he says Round Rock police identified themselves as maintenance and also illegally searched."