In the pantheon of things human beings do to alter their state of mind, enjoying a hash brownie honestly ranks somewhere around "standing up too quickly" in terms of the overall danger to society at large.
But because everything is bigger in Texas–including ridiculous jail sentences for what amounts to a petty offense out in the civilized world–it could conceivably send a 19-year-old Texan named Jacob Lavoro to prison for the rest of his life.
Lavoro was arrested at his home in April after a neighbor complained about the smell of smoke coming from his apartment. Police at the scene weighed the brownies, and charged Lavoro with having a pound and a half worth of drugs with the intent to sell.
Police say that they also found a jar of hash oil and cash in the apartment.
"I'm scared. Very scared," Lavoro told reporters following a hearing in a Williamson County courtroom this week. "I'm 19 years old and still have a whole life ahead of me. Take that into account."
According to the Associated Press, Lavoro's attorney, Jack Holmes, said that the brownies in question contained only a small amount THC–in the form of hash oil–and is not enough to justify a tough sentence.
"There was a total amount of 2.5 grams of THC found in all of that stuff. I expected a little bit more out of it, but that's what it is. That's about the equivalent to two and a half of those sugar things you find at a restaurant when you sit down," Holmes told KVUE-TV in Austin.
Holmes also claims that police officers lied about having permission to enter Lavoro's apartment in the first place, and is looking to have a hearing to suppress the evidence police gathered during their search.
If convicted of the charges as they now stand, Lovaro could face anywhere from 10 years to life in prison.
Prosecutors say that they really aren't trying to make an example out of Lavoro, but Williamson County has a reputation as one of the "Don't Mess with Texas"-est counties in the state–as well as a documented history of gross miscarriages of justice–so Lavoro may have reason to be very nervous indeed.
Image via AP