If you are like many citizens of the Lone Star State, you have used marijuana at some point in your past. After all, pot smokers often consider marijuana to be an effective way to unwind after a hard day. Some Texans also rely on marijuana to minimize the symptoms of certain medical conditions. If you rarely, occasionally or frequently imbibe, though, you should understand how Texas law treats pot.

There are a variety of ways to consume marijuana. That is, you may smoke a joint, eat an edible or apply an extract. Still, in Texas, marijuana possession is a serious crime. Even if you have under an ounce of pot with you, you may face a felony charge. If you have edibles, though, simple marijuana possession may become a legal nightmare.

Texas law measures the total weight of the illegal substance

If you smoke pot, an ounce of it is probably enough to give you a high. If you reduce marijuana to THC, its effective ingredient, and consume it as part of a cookie, sucker, brownie or another type of edible, though, Texas Law may consider you to have significantly more than an ounce of the illegal substance. That is, pursuant to the Texas Health and Safety Code, you are responsible for the total weight of marijuana, including any additives. That means the flour, sugar and cocoa in your brownie count as pot.

More pot often leads to longer prison sentences

Generally, the more pot you have, the greater your legal exposure. A half-pound batch of cookies may be equivalent to more than 200 grams of marijuana. A conviction for having that much pot could land you in prison for up to 20 years. If you decide to share your delicious treat with family members, friends, coworkers or others, you may face an intent-to-distribute charge. The penalty for that seemingly minor conduct is up to 99 years in a Texas prison.

You do not want to end up spending time behind bars. Put simply, when it comes to marijuana, “don’t mess with Texas” is more than a slogan. If you use pot, you must realize how prosecutors treat the offense. You must also recognize your criminal exposure.