By, Pamela Brown (CNN Justice Correspondent)
A Texas teen is facing serious prison time for hash brownies. Marijuana is legal in some parts of the country but in others, pot-laced baked goods could land you in jail for the rest of your life.
19 year old Jacob Lavoro is facing the same prison sentence as some rapists and murderers in the state of Texas, up to 99 years behind bars. His alleged offense? Baking brownies with hash oil.
“Honestly when i heard that i was going to get life in jail, my face turned white and i had to throw up,” says Lavoro.
Local Texas police say Lavoro made a business out of pot brownies, selling them for 25 bucks a pop. Court documents indicate police found several bags of marijuana and hash oil in separate containers in his house, enough to bring another felony charge against him. But because of a controversial law, it’s those hash brownies that could lead to big jail time.
“It really was meant to cover a situation where you were mixing a small amount of cocaine or heroin with white flour and it was difficult to weight it because it was all missed together,” explains Paul Callan, a CNN legal analyst.
In this case police weighed all the ingredients in the pot brownies not just the hash oil. They included the sugar and butter, and milk and eggs, and flour and chocolate too–661 grams total.
But Lavoro’s attorney says the actual drugs made up a small fraction of that. “Probably about five grams of actual controlled substance, which in this case is thc, and the rest is baked goods,” says attorney Jack Holmes.
But police did exactly what Texas state law allows them to do, because there is no way to weigh the two separately.
Commander Alain Babin of the Rock Round Police Department adds, “They were absolutely following our policies and procedures. (Followed the statute and filed the appropriate charge.) Yes.”
Even still, legal analyst Callan says it makes no sense. “I don’t think the law was ever intended to cover a situation like this where you’re making a marijuana brownies. You know, if it did, the Texas legislature must have been eating those brownies when they wrote the law.”
The district attorney’s office tells CNN it will offer a plea bargain to Lavoro that wouldn’t include any jail time. Even if Lavoro agrees to it he’s already spent a month in jail before being released on 30 thousand dollars bond.
“It was real scary. I was in there with real criminals they laughed at me,” says Lavoro about that ordeal.
Lavoro said he is definitely out of the pot brownie baking business. “That’s a NO!”
Lavoro’s attorney says they want to wait until they get lab results back before entertaining any plea deal.