Most college students who get in trouble are not trying to run afoul of the law. Campus life gives young adults their first tastes of freedom and independence. As they navigate it, they may take risks like trying cannabis. This behavior may seem socially acceptable, but it can lead to criminal charges. And these charges can impact students’ ability to continue their education.

Different types of charges

Texas is near several states that have decriminalized or legalized cannabis. Students often travel to these states and bring back related products. This can take the form of marijuana, yet edibles and oils containing THC are also popular. What students forget is that Texas’ cannabis laws are far stricter than its neighbors’. Possessing up to four ounces of marijuana will lead to misdemeanor charges in the state. But possessing the same amount of THC product will lead to felony charges, due to its high concentration. And both offenses come with steep fines and possible prison sentences.

Potential consequences

College students charged with cannabis possession will likely face penalties beyond Texas’ laws. At the very least, they will receive a formal reprimand for violating their campus’ code of conduct. Depending on the circumstances, they may face suspension or expulsion instead. Students who receive a possession conviction will become ineligible for financial aid as well. This consequence could make them lose out on any grants or loans they receive, even in the middle of an academic term. Cannabis charges could also cause students to lose any scholarship money they receive. And if they’re a student-athlete, it could affect their participation on school sports teams.

College allows students to have many new experiences. But they must be careful that these do not carry legal and academic consequences. Consulting a criminal defense attorney can help students find a way forward after receiving cannabis charges.