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Texas police could easily see illegal vape pens on vehicle seat

Jun 20, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

Two suspects face multiple drug charges.

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A 28-year-old Texan didn’t make it very tough for police to arrest her when she left several vape pens in plain view on the front seat of her vehicle.

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On June 17, the woman had exited a property that Bexar County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) deputies were just about the search and was entering a vehicle when the vape pens caught the officers’ eyes.

Deputies immediately detained the woman and saw five THC vape pens inside of the vehicle.

  1. Driver made clear the large bag of pot retrieved from the passenger floorboard did not belong to him. /

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  2. Deputies located a suspect and were doing a sweep for victims when they found a marijuana grow house, police tweet. /

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    Texas cops find 160 kilograms of weed and more than a dozen stolen vehicles

While medicinal marijuana is allowed for eligible Texans with certain health conditions through the state’s compassionate use program, recreational cannabis remains off-limits.

While possessing up to 113 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanour in the state, punishable by both jail time and fines, any amount exceeding that is a felony.

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Having on hand 113 grams to 2.3 kilograms of weed, for example, can result in 180 days to two years incarceration and a fine of as much as $13,000, notes the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Possessing 2.3 to 22.7 kilograms of cannabis, for its part, carries a maximum penalty of two to 10 years in prison and a $13,000 fine.

With regards to drug paraphernalia, the NORML information reports that both possession and sale are misdemeanours, although a first offence for the latter can spark a year in jail and a $5,200 fine.

Beyond the vape pens in plain view, officers searched the vehicle and found 544 grams of cannabis and 47 more THC vape pens inside the trunk, according to the BCSO.

Cash among items seized during recent raid in Texas. /
Cash among items seized during recent raid in Texas. / Photo by Bexar County Sheriff’s Office

The deputies had been attending the property to execute a search warrant. The woman in question was among one of an unidentified number of suspects.

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Upon searching the home, a 38-year-old man was found in the kitchen and detained. Checking out the property, deputies found 6.1 kilograms of cannabis, 998 grams of hash oil, 34 grams of cocaine, 2.9 grams of methamphetamine, one shotgun and $21,784 in cash.

Both suspects have been charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver four to 200 grams, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver more than 400 grams, possession of a controlled substance amounting to one to four grams possession of 2.3 to 22.7 kilograms of weed.

The arrest may have been just as easy as one in Madison, Wis. in 2020.

In that case, officers doing routine patrols of city parking lots couldn’t have had an easier time seizing more than a kilogram cannabis, about $5,000 in cash, a handgun and a high-capacity gun magazine and bullets when dealers left the items in plain view inside their vehicles.

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The same could be said for another bust in Texas in late 2021. A man was apprehended after a a trooper approaching a suspicious vehicle that had been pulled over could plainly see the driver had weed all over the inside of the car and in his lap.

Recently released poll results from the University of Texas at Tyler show that 83 per cent of respondents support the legalization of medicinal marijuana while 60 per cent support doing so for recreational use.

The Marijuana Policy Project reports that although several cannabis reform bills were introduced in 2021, only one reform was green lit.

That change saw the state’s low-THC medical cannabis program expanded to include people with cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as a modest increase from a “0.5 per cent THC cap on medical cannabis to one per cent.”

The Texas State Law Library, however, makes clear: “In Texas and federal law, recreational use of marijuana is still illegal.”

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