Teen Faces Life Sentence Over Pot Brownies

Jacob Lavoro's use of hash oil is a big part of the problem

By Derek Andersen,  Newser Staff

Posted May 20, 2014 6:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Texas teen is facing five years to life in prison for allegedly making and selling pot brownies due to the particulars of the state's drug laws—and his recipe. Jacob Lavoro’s fateful mistake was allegedly adding hash oil to his batch. While possession of up to two ounces of pot is a misdemeanor in the state, possession of hash oil is a felony, and its inclusion in the brownies allowed the state to count the other ingredients in the baked goods, from the sugar to the butter, when calculating the weight of the illegal substance. The sentence is tied to a single batch weighing in at about a pound and a half—or 660 grams of hash oil, reports KEYE TV, though Toke of the Town reports Lavoro allegedly made the brownies using only a few grams. Lavoro, a former high school football player, has a clean record otherwise.

"I was outraged. I've been doing this 22 years as a lawyer and I've got 10 years as a police officer and I've never seen anything like this before," says his lawyer, who believes the offense should be treated as a misdemeanor. A lawyer for Texas NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law, told KEYE TV in an earlier report that the sentence Lavoro is threatened with is "higher than the punishment range for sexual assault, higher than the punishment range for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. It's kind of crazy." (Colorado is dealing with a hash oil problem of a different sort.)

Marijuana is sometimes ingested mixed into brownies and other dishes.   (Shutter Stock )
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