How to Make Hash Brownies (Into a Life Sentence)

In my latest Forbes column, I
consider the case of Jacob Lavoro, the Texas teenager who faces a
sentence of 10 years to life for baking hash brownies and cookies.
Here is how it starts:

When Jacob Lavoro, a 19-year-old from Round Rock, Texas, learned
that he could go to prison for the rest of his life over a pound
and a half of cannabis-infused brownies and cookies, he was
surprised. So were his father, his lawyer, and, judging from
the plentiful press coverage, many other people. How could
baked goods that are legally sold in Colorado (and soon
in Washington) trigger a sentence of 10 years to life in

As Mark Brunner, first assistant district attorney for
Williamson County, which is prosecuting
Lavoro, explained this week, the jaw-dropping penalties
the teenager faces illustrate how one kind of prohibitionist idiocy
compounds another (although that is not quite the way Brunner put
it). First, Texas law treats drug offenses involving
“resinous extractives of cannabis” much more severely than offenses
involving marijuana buds. Second, when calculating drug weight,
Texas, like many other states, includes “adulterants and

Read the whole thing

from Hit & Run

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