Does everybody remember the story of Texas teenager Jacob Lavoro, which we covered in an edition of The Morning Roar a few months ago?
Lavoro was arrested in May of this year when his neighbor reporte4d a “strange smell” emanating from his apartment. Rather than knocking on his door and asking what the smell was, the neighbor called the police. The police arrived, searched his house (probably illegally) and found that Lavoro had been making pot brownies.
Because Lavoro used hash oil to make the brownies, instead of marijuana, the state used the entire weight of the brownies – about 1.5 lbs. worth – to determine the amount of drugs possessed. Sugar, flour, and brownie mix all counted as drugs in the eyes of the law. This made the charge against him a first degree felony and if convicted he was set to serve five years to life.
Fast forward to this week and Lavoro decided he was not ready to take the chance on spending his life in prison. He agreed to a plea deal this week and The Statesman reported the details.
Jacob Lavoro, 19, pleaded guilty today to the second degree felony of possession of THC, said his lawyer, Jack Holmes. Lavoro agreed to the plea in exchange for a sentence of seven years of probation, said Holmes.
“It was his choice,” said Holmes. Holmes had made a motion to suppress evidence in the case against Lavoro saying that Round Rock police officers did not enter Lavoro’s apartment legally, but Lavoro made his plea before the motion was heard by the judge.
“The chances of winning to the motion to suppress were probably 50-50 and he knew that,” said Holmes. Lavoro also knew if the motion was lost, then he could face a more severe sentence, Holmes said.
A second degree felony conviction and seven years of probation all because Jacob Lavoro made brownies that make people goofy. He didn’t make brownies that could kill. He made brownies that could result in someone wasting an entire day watching terrible movies on their couch while devouring a gallon of ice cream.
Seven years of probation and a felony conviction is much better when compared to a lifetime or a five-year sentence, but it is certainly not a reason to celebrate. The poor soul will probably never be allowed to own a firearm. Unfortunately, he’s probably lost his right to legally protect his own life because he made pot brownies.
Rather than trying to eloquently summarize this story by wrapping it up in a bow, I’m going to turn it over to fellow Lions of Liberty contributor Marc Clair and quote the conclusion he penned in response to this story when it broke in the spring.
When a society at large accepts the idea that people should be considered criminals for merely possessing certain plant matter, injustices like this will continue. Even if marijuana were fully legalized in all 50 states including Texas, the state would still have been able to prosecute Jacob Lavoro for possessing the hash oil. This is why, while I am glad groups such as NORML exist which specifically focus on marijuana, libertarians should emphasize a philosophy of individual rights, so that hopefully people will see that it is wrong to use violence upon others for possessing any item (short of perhaps, nuclear weapons) merely for the sake of possessing that item. This is the only way to ensure a future where humans are not thrown in a cage for merely possessing the wrong plant extract.