The Collateral Consequences of a Marijuana Conviction

All but six states have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes or both. For two and half decades, marijuana has been legal in some form somewhere in the country. Consider the following revealed by a 2017 survey conducted by Yahoo News and Marist College:

  • Most Americans (56 percent) believe that using marijuana is socially acceptable
  • There are nearly as many marijuana users as there are cigarette smokers in America
  • Over 80 percent of Americans support the legalization of medical marijuana, while approximately half support recreational marijuana
  • When asked why they don’t use pot, 27 percent of those that abstain mentioned its illegality

Society’s attitudes and reservations have changed over time, making the possession or usage of this drug normative and acceptable to some extent. However, this doesn’t mean that the illegal use and possession of marijuana are treated the same under state laws. 

In fact, Texas is home to some of the most punitive marijuana laws in the United States. Growing, possessing, distributing, and other types of marijuana charges can lead to severe legal penalties, including:

  • Time behind bars
  • Thousands of dollars in fines
  • Community service
  • Probation
  • Mandatory drug testing

The ramifications for marijuana-related convictions are even further reaching. They extend beyond the legal realm. A conviction of this magnitude can lead to serious issues. If you are facing marijuana-related charges, it’s in your best interest to reach out to a local DFW drug criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. 


Some individuals with prior drug-related convictions have difficulty getting into the higher education institutions they want to attend. Many others aren’t eligible for certain types of financial aid and student loans. If you or someone in your family has high college aspirations, a criminal marijuana conviction could squash those.


You may not be able to rent the house or apartment you desire after a marijuana conviction. You may have difficulties getting a mortgage loan. Not being able to secure a place to live can lead to homelessness or severe financial struggles, especially if you have a family.

Professional Licenses

Many Texas professionals are required to be licensed by the State. For instance, medical, cosmetology, teachers, and tax/finance professionals must get certifications and licenses to practice legally. Depending on the type and extent of your drug charges, you could have your license suspended or be unable to obtain a license in the future. This could mean not getting your dream job or being able to work in the field in which you want to work without jumping through significant and onerous hoops.


You could also be barred from employment in specific industries. Many places won’t hire applicants with prior felonies or drug-related charges. If you are employed at the time of your charges or conviction, you could lose your employment immediately.

Loss of Rights and Privileges

A Texas marijuana conviction could also cause you to lose:

  • Your driver’s license
  • Your legal immigration status—resulting in deportation
  • Your ability to travel out of the country
  • Your right to vote
  • Your right to own firearms


Criminal charges, even those without resulting convictions, can severely strain even the best relationships. You could end up divorced, out of contact with your children, or disowned by your friends and family. Being in jail for an extended period of time, paying large fines, and facing any of the above collateral consequences can also significantly impact your interpersonal relationships.

Questions About Marijuana Charges or Convictions? Call a Top Local DFW Drug Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Even though marijuana use and possession might be socially acceptable and commonplace, Texas still imposes stiff penalties that lead to many collateral consequences. Protect your future with the representation of an experienced local DFW drug criminal defense lawyer. The Cofer Luster Law Firm helps minimize the consequences and penalties of marijuana charges and convictions so that you can get back to your normal life as quickly as possible. Give us a call today at 682-777-3336 or contact us online.

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