The way people smoke has evolved in the past few years, moving beyond paper to electronics. School officials in Texas are discovering vape pens may be filled with THC oil instead of tobacco.
A report from the Texas Tribune details how some Texas school districts are installing “vape-detecting technology” sensors around campus and using drug-sniffing dogs to stop students from using vape pens. Part of the urgency comes from reports of people getting injured from using vape pens, some of it comes from using THC oil in the electronics. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana that is responsible for the “high” feeling. Possession of marijuana is considered illegal under state and federal laws. Students are learning there can be severe consequences when it comes to being caught with THC-filled vape pens at school.
One student in Georgetown ISD reportedly bought a pen that had CBD oil in it, an ingredient found in marijuana that is ingested to create a calm feeling. The Texas Tribune says a fellow student alerted a school official about the pen. THC was discovered in the pen and the student was arrested. Since THC can be illegal to possess in Texas, the student was charged with a felony.
The Texas Education Agency reports there were 5,770 incidents in the 2015-16 school year where students were caught with tobacco in their e-cigarettes. There were 674 recorded incidents of students with a felony-controlled substance (illegal drugs) in their e-cigarettes during the 2015-16 school year. By the 2018-19 school year, there were 19,806 incidents of students with tobacco in their e-cigarettes and 1,600 incidents of students with some illegal substance in their e-cigarette.
Vaping has received significant public attention after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started investigating severe lung injuries and deaths tied to e-cigarettes. The Texas Tribune says more than 2,4000 people have been hospitalized and at least 52 people have died from vaping.
Being charged with possession of marijuana or THC oil in Texas can lead to serious legal ramifications. For possessing two ounces of marijuana or less, a conviction can lead to 180 days in jail and up to $2,000 in fines. Having more than two ounces but less than four ounces of marijuana can result in up to a year in prison and a fine of $4,000 or less.
A marijuana or THC oil offense that is a felony can result in a prison sentence, felony probation and/or a fine of up to $10,000.00.
Having an attorney represent you in court can help reduce sentences and avoid the most serious repercussions available to your alleged crime. Alternatives to jail time can include drug rehabilitation programs and community service. Don’t leave your fate up to the court system without representation. If you are charged with a marijuana or THC crime, contact Price & Wiggins, P.C. immediately for a review of your case.