Medical Marijuana Patient Faces Life in Prison for a Half Ounce in Texas

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #644)
Politics & Advocacy

A Texas asthma sufferer who went to California for a medical marijuana recommendation and then got busted in June on a Texas highway with small amounts of marijuana and hashish is facing up to life in prison after being indicted by a Brown County grand jury. He is charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a first-degree felony in the Lone Star State.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Chris Diaz, 20, has been jailed on $40,000 bond since the June 27 arrest. He was busted with 14 grams of weed and hash.

Under Texas law, possession of less than two ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail, while possession of hashish is either a state jail felony punishable by up to two years for less than a gram, or a second-class felony punishable by up to 20 years if less than four grams, although probation is also possible. It is unclear exactly how much hash Diaz had.

Diaz was pulled over for an expired license tag while en route from California to Austin, and according to the DPS trooper's report, could not produce a drivers' license or proof of insurance. He was then arrested for failure to identify, and during a subsequent search, police found a small amount of hashish on his person. A search of the vehicle then turned up more hash and marijuana in pill bottle from a California medical marijuana provider.

The DPS report said the search also turned up a cell phone "containing text messages referring to drug sales" and a notebook with "drug and law writings." Those are apparently the basis, legitimate or otherwise, for the drug distribution charge.

Texas does not have a medical marijuana law, and its authorities do not recognize having a recommendation from another state as a defense against prosecution.

Diaz has attracted supporters both inside Texas and nationally. The Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care and a group called I Am Sovereign are publicizing the case and pressuring Brown County officialdom. And the asthmatic Diaz sits in jail in Central Texas awaiting trial, without his medicine.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


JimBob999 (not verified)

Jesus, you people are idiots. If the laws suck vote your very own representative into state office and get the laws changed. Please lose all of the whining BS. He drove into Texas with weed, hash and text messages indicating someone was waiting on him to deliver their share of the pitiful stash. Like an idiot his tags were expired, no insurance and he either lied about who he was or failed to give the necessary identifying information when required for the ticket. Busted.... Get over it! Ron white said it best - "you just can't fix stupid"!!! When the hole gets so deep you can't see out, quit digging!!!


As for the jail house lawyer... So the Judge doesn't have Jurisdiction or standing eh? Sounds like it's a Texas Judge and he was caught violating Texas law in Texas. Good try but, DUH... There's is no victim, the State of Texas picks up the charges... If you were anything but a jail house paralegal surely you would have seen language somewhere by now that says - "The State of Texas vs Dummy"... Christ I hope your not representing this dude. I really hope he didn't waste any money on your legal services. If you're on his dream team he might very well get the death penalty!

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 7:03pm Permalink
June G (not verified)

How come Texas police can even pull you over for an expired out of state tag? An expired out of state tag has NOTHING to do with another state's business at all. I am surprised they can even pull you over for that.

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 2:55am Permalink

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