Possession of marijuana is illegal in the state of Texas. However, some people still buy it legally in a state like Colorado and bring it across the state line.

If you facing possession charges in the Lonestar State, you are looking at significant fines and possible jail time.

An increasing concern

Since marijuana became legal in Colorado, law enforcement officers in neighboring states have stepped up surveillance efforts. Border checkpoints have increased as have inspections of shipping containers. The attorneys general for both Oklahoma and Nebraska have even filed lawsuits against Colorado demanding a reversal of their legalization laws, claiming that the police in their states are becoming overwhelmed by the amount of incoming marijuana. In fact, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, seizures of marijuana outbound from Colorado in 2014 increased 592 percent over the 2005-2008 yearly averages.

Penalties in Texas

If the authorities catch you with weed when crossing the state line into Texas, you may face federal charges even though you purchased it legally. Sentencing depends on weight. For example, a conviction for possession of two to four ounces is a misdemeanor accompanied by a fine of up to $4,000 and as much as a year in jail. When ounces become pounds, you are looking at a state felony that comes with heavier fines and longer jail time.

Advocating for change

Advocates for legalizing marijuana hope that the laws will swing their way eventually. Meanwhile, despite what has happened in Colorado, marijuana is still illegal in Texas under both state and federal laws.