FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A warning from the Tarrant County DA’s Office about edibles laced with THC has sparked questions about why the consequences in Tarrant County are potentially so punitive for something that is now legal in neighboring states.
The DA’s office warns in a YouTube video anyone bringing out-of-state products laced with more than the .3% legal amount of TCH could face up to 20 years in prison.READ MORE: Remains Found Near Paul Quinn College ID'd As Missing Dallas Executive James Alan White
“I’ve always kind of felt like maybe it’s not exactly fair to treat THC oil or infused edibles the same as if you had a brick of cocaine or heroin or methamphetamine,” said criminal defense attorney Jeff Hampton of the Hampton Law Firm.
Hampton said he’s had a lot of these kinds of cases lately.
One of his clients’ flights was diverted to DFW Airport. While he was traveling elsewhere, he had a small edible and got busted.
“He was held detained and subsequently charged and spent two night in the Tarrant County Jail,” Hampton said.READ MORE: Dallas County's Pop-Up COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic In Deep Ellum Just Right For Friday Night
That case was eventually thrown out, but in another instance someone with an out-of-state THC brownie got caught and was charged for the entire weight of the edible.
“Now they’re charged with anywhere between a 3rd or 2nd degree felony,” Hampton said.
The Tarrant County DA’s Office sent CBS 11 a statement on the matter saying, “If testing shows the sample meets the illegal .3% THC threshold, we will follow the law and prosecute the case. If the sample does not show an illegal level of THC, then no crime has been committed.”
Hampton says the reality is while the punishment range is broad and might seem extreme, prosecutors handle each case individually and will consider many variables.
“If you’ve been to prison two or three times and you are a bad guy already that’s where that range could be up to a 20-year prison sentence,” he said.MORE NEWS: Brazos River Authority Issues Warning About Potential Danger Of Algae In Lake Granbury
Hampton said Tarrant County is abiding by what the State Legislature has set forth in the Texas Controlled Substances Act.