In Texas Hash Brownies Can Get You 10 Years to Life, No Matter How Much THC They Contain [CORRECTED]



Yesterday a lawyer for Jacob Lavoro, the Texas teenager who could face a prison sentence of 10 years to life after being caught with a pound and a half of hash brownies and cookies, told reporters that lab tests of those baked goods found they contained just 2.5 grams of THC, marijuana's main psychoactive ingredient. Based on the 10-milligram standard set by Colorado's marijuana regulators, that's 250 doses, equivalent to less than half an ounce of high-quality marijuana. In Texas possessing two ounces or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of six months in jail.

But none of that matters under Texas law, which treats the brownies and cookies as if they consisted entirely of hash oil. The other ingredients (flour, eggs, sugar, chocolate) are counted as "adulterants and dilutants," the weight of which is included when calculating the seriousness of the offense. Worse, the state's penalties for possessing hash oil are much more severe than its penalties for possessing marijuana buds, irrespective of THC content. Even if a pound of buds contains more THC than a pound of hash oil—which is entirely possible, given the high potency of some marijuana strains and the wide variability in hash potency—the buds will earn you a minimum sentence of six months, compared to 10 years for the hash oil. The maximum sentence for that much hash oil, or for a pound of anything containing any amount of hash oil, is life.

Goodies Green Label

"I'm scared," Lavoro said yesterday. "Very scared. I'm 19 years old and still have a whole life ahead of me. Take that into account."

Not to worry, says Williamson County First Assistant District Attorney Mark Brunner, who in May explained to a puzzled world the bizarre workings of Texas drug laws. "As prosecutors," he said then, "we are bound by what the law is, not what the law should be or could be." But yesterday Williamson said his office has no intention of sending Lavoro to prison for the rest of his life. In fact, it has offered him a plea deal under which he would serve no time behind bars. In practice, then, possessing a pound and a half of hash brownies and cookies is punishable by either 0 or 10 years in prison, depending on whether the defendant decides to exercise his constitutional right to a trial.

Lavoro's lawyer, Jack Holmes, said he rejected the plea deal because he worried that a technical violation of its terms would send him to prison. Holmes also thinks he has a good shot at getting the whole case thrown out. He argues that the cops who found the illegal baked goods at the apartment in Round Rock where Lavoro was staying searched the place illegally, gaining entrance by claiming to be maintenance workers, at which point they claimed to smell marijuana.

Although Brunner wants us to know he is not the sort of crazy drug warrior who thinks Lavoro deserves a long prison sentence, he defends threatening the 19-year-old baker with that outcome. "If this was just some college kid experimenting in his friend's Easy-Bake Oven, with a reefer's worth of pot and a bunch of brownies, that'd be different," Brunner said. "This man was trying to run a business, allegedly." Just like hundreds of state-licensed marijuana entrepreneurs in Colorado and Washington, where making and selling marijuana edibles is a legitimate occupation instead of a felony.

Addendum: In the original version of this post, as Zeb pointed out in the comments, I made an egregious mistake when calculating the number of 10-milligram doses in Lavoro's baked goods, which led me to cast totally unjustified aspersions on their quality. I apologize and have corrected the post.

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    1. We at Mary’s value the support of ALL our fellow Americans. While you may exercise your right of religious freedom at this restaurant by praying over your meal to any entity or non-entity, we must protect your freedom from religion in a public place. We are no longer issuing the 15% praying in public discount. It is illegal and we are being threatened by lawsuit. We apologize to our community for ANY offense this discount has incurred.

    2. But Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, said there was no threat to sue Mary’s Gourmet Cafe ? only a mention that it has won lawsuits in similar venues, the Journal reported. But Gaylor added that a lawsuit against the restaurant “would not have been off the table,” the Journal noted.

      “People who are atheists don’t pray,” Gaylor told the Journal, adding that it’s illegal to “charge an atheist more than a Christian.”

      1. so mentioning a suit and considering it a possible course of action =/= threat.

      2. So pray to the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Haile Selassie and save a few bucks.

    3. So retarded. I’m not religious and you know what I would’ve done?

      1)Not said shit
      2)Put on the appearance of praying to collect the discount
      3)Enjoy my meal

      Why does there seem to be so many atheists who are just petty little assholes about every fucking thing? On top of being stupid, it’s just ridiculous.

      1. They want everyone else to be as miserable as they are. I’d become resentful too if I had no meaning in my life.

        1. Oh, they have meaning in their life. It all surrounds their daddy issues, but that’s something.

        2. I’d become resentful too if I had no meaning in my life.

          Never go full retard.

          1. If you derive meaning from fucking over people who don’t affect you, you can’t have much real meaning in life.

      2. They’re not atheists. They’re anti-religionists. They’re adults who still have a teenage chip on their shoulder against their Christian parents and grandparents. That’s why you don’t see them protesting mosques or Muslim prayer. They only attack Christians. They need to grow the fuck up.

        1. Yeah, this.

      3. Honestly. What harm could an atheist possibly see in being exposed to prayer? It’s just an empty ritual, so do it and get your discount.

        1. What not just laugh at the stupid Christians behind their backs and then walk away. I mean, whether I think I’m going to Heaven or not, Atheist knows that we’ll all just be worm food in 75 years…

      4. They’re first generation atheists. They grew up with religion and can’t let go of having a religion to identify with. Their kids won’t do shit like this, but by then there will be a new round of first generation atheists to deal with.

        1. I’m a first generation atheist and I’m not an asshole about it. My daughter may even grow up to be religious if that’s what she chooses. I’m not going to tell her what to believe or not to believe.

          1. You’re a rarity then. As a second generation atheist I remember how weird it was when I realized how important atheism was to my parents’ identity. I’m with you that if my daughter wants to grow up and be religious I’m not going to stop her, but I have a hard time envisioning where the influence would come from.

            1. In her case it would be her mother and grandmother. My atheism isn’t that important. It doesn’t define me. I simply have no faith. That doesn’t mean I reject religious teachings. Some of them make sense. You know, like don’t kill people or cheat on your wife. That’s good advice. And if for some people religion is the only thing that keeps them moral, well that’s better than them robbing and raping and killing.

      5. Why does there seem to be so many atheists who are just petty little assholes about every fucking thing?

        Perhaps it’s because they don’t have G-d in their hearts.

    4. Oh but see we can’t say anything about this becuase it comes from the Civil Rights Act. So, in short, you’re racis’.

    5. I believe Jesus said that Christians should pray loudly in public to show everyone how holy they are. Or something.

      The correct response to this policy is to bring in a prayer rug, a loud speaker, and a nice azan recording.

  1. Personally, I believe he should be convicted solely on the fact that brownies were crappy.

  2. Man shot dead by police in Walmart ‘after he picked up a toy gun’
    John Crawford was shot dead by police at Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio
    The 22-year-old killed amid reports he was waving a rifle at customers
    But the father-of-two’s relatives now claim that he was holding a toy gun
    They have contacted civil rights organisations after hitting out at police
    Police have yet to comment on claims but say officers acted ‘appropriately’…..y-gun.html

    LeeCee Johnson, who has claimed to be the mother of Mr Crawford’s two children, said she was speaking to him on the telephone when police descended on the scene.
    Dayton Daily News report her as saying: ‘We was just talking. He said he was at the video games playing videos and he went over there by the toy section where the toy guns were.
    ‘And the next thing I know, he said “It’s not real,” and the police start shooting and they said “Get on the ground,” but he was already on the ground because they had shot him.’
    ‘And I could hear him just crying and screaming. I feel like they shot him down like he was not even human.’

    And nothing else happened.

    1. I used to go to raves in Beaver Creek. He’s honestly better off dead…


          1. What I had meant to say was that if Beaver Creek is near Xenia, which I think it is, then if the cops didn’t get him, a tornado would have. But that would’ve been really mean-spirited, so it’s probably best that it came across blank.

            1. And the rooster says…Cock-a-doodle-dooooooo!!!


              1. So the main takeaway here is that Xenia is so horrible, that when they made a movie about it, they filmed in Tennessee.

                1. Don’t even get me started on Xenia…There is only Cincinnati!

                  1. My ex was from Springfield. I’ve been there and to a few of the neighboring towns, like Xenia. I would not thrive living in such a run-down, landlocked hell.

                2. Maybe Walmart should post a video to see if he was behaving in a threatening manner. Is the shooting on video?

              2. And the rooster says…Cock-a-doodle-dooooooo!!!

                And the blonde says… Any-cock-will-doooooo!!!

  3. The WOD is horrible. But the original story going around told of a DA who wanted to send this guy to jail for life for making pot brownies. It now appears that that this genius dreamed of being the Walter White of pot/hashish brownies. He has been offered a plea that would entail no jail time.

    Again, the WOD is a disgrace. But if they bring back booze prohibition, and I get caught with a bathtub full of gin, it would behove the media not to report that “Man faces life in prison for taking a bath.”

    Worst part of the media coverage? Williamson County is being depicted as the heartless county, contrasted to its tolerant neighbor, Travis County, where the city of Austin sits as a shining example of tolerance…

    …unless you are a 90 pound female jogger who is wearing headphones when some fat ass cops bark orders at you, in which case you get assaulted by six police officers.

    1. What? Was taking a bath prohibited during prohibition?

      I don’t give a crap if he wanted to start a business selling brownies. It is still completely evil to lock him up for it. Unless he was planning to become a violent thug to build his brownie empire, the Walter White comparison isn’t terribly apt.

      1. I think you missed the point.

        1. Could be. If so, I still am missing it.

    2. He has been offered a plea that would entail no jail time.

      So? Does that mean that, if he exercises his right to go to trial and loses, he won’t be facing 10 to life?

      Williamson County is being depicted as the heartless county,

      And this is inaccurate because threatening to send somebody to jail for life for pot brownies isn’t heartless?

  4. Texas: good on taxes and bad at all the rest.

    1. Well not all the rest, but plenty. And I have some problems with our taxes as well.

  5. they contained just 2.5 grams of THC

    I think your units might be off here. A quick calculation in my head tells me that that is as much THC as would be in an ounce of good weed.

    1. 2.5 grams of bud would be enough for a few brownies let alone 2.5 grams of pure THC…

    2. 2.5g THC is about 1/2 oz of good bud, or about 25 standard doses (100mg) of edible.

      1. Thank you for the science lesson. I haven’t put pot in food in about a year…

      2. and… recommended standard dose in CO is 10mg, so 2.5g would be 250 standard doses.

        1. I was going to say that, but figured that I should read the comments first. 2.5 grams of THC might be near the unpossible fatal pot overdose. You would probably think that you were going to die.

    3. Thanks. Somehow I misread grams as milligrams. I was only off by a factor of 1,000! I have corrected the post.

  6. It’s the homeopathic theory of drug law enforcement.

    1. It might be better. You just need to eat a few more brownies. Depends on the price.

  7. I advise all good people who RESPONSIBLY use pot medicinally or recreationally to come to Colorado and enjoy the freedom guaranteed by our Constitution. See for yourself that legal pot is actually quite a yawner in terms of impact to the state (except for the huge taxes we’re collecting and the influx of tourists looking for it).

  8. Holmes should flee the country and ask for BTC donations.

  9. “we are bound by what the law is, not what the law should be or could be.”

    The kid should appeal to the 4th circuit.

  10. i would guess ‘hash oil’ is probably technically ‘healthier’ than actual MJ itself, no?

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