Six years ago at the Seattle Hempfest, I delivered a speech I call the “STFU Speech”. In it, I explained to thousands of young people that when the cops accuse you of committing a marijuana crime, you shouldn’t help them prosecute you by opening your mouth and trying to explain it to them.
Unfortunately, rapper Baby Bash was not in the audience that day.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the two rappers were busted by police in Houston on felony drug charges:
Paul Michael Slayton, better known as Houston rapper Paul Wall, was arrested Friday with three other men on charges of organized crime, accused of working together to sell THC, the waxy extract of marijuana.
In court records released late Saturday, Slayton, 35, was charged with felony intent to distribute between 4 and 400 grams of the controlled substance Tetrahydrocannabinol.
Also arrested on the same charge was fellow rapper Ronald Ray Bryant, known as Baby Bash.
Laws differ from state to state concerning the difference between marijuana and extract. Surprisingly, states like Idaho and Utah, known to be very anti-pot, don’t distinguish between the two substances. Texas, however, is not one of those states.
Hashish and concentrates are not considered marijuana. See Texas Stat, Code § 481.002(26)(A).
Possession of hashish or concentrates is a crime. If hashish or concentrates is less than one gram, the offense is considered a state jail felony punishable by term of imprisonment no less than 180 days and no greater than 2 years and a fine no greater than $10,000.
If the amount of hashish or concentrates is more than 1 gram but less than 4 grams, the offense is considered a felony of the third degree punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 2 years and no greater than 10 years and a fine no greater than $10,000.
If the amount of hashish or concentrates is greater than 4 grams but less than 400 grams, the offense is considered a felony in the second degree punishable by a term of imprisonment no less than 2 years and no greater than 20 years and a fine no greater than $10,000.
(UPDATE: A reader from Texas tells me, “Possession with intent to deliver 4-400 grams of penalty group 2 substance in Texas is a first degree felony punishable by 5-99 years in prison. Possession of less than 1 gram is a state jail felony, punishable by a max of 2 years in a state jail facility (wholly different than actual TDC prison) but more importantly, first offense less than a gram is probation mandatory even if you get convicted.
Further, we’re arguing across the state in several district courts that THC is completely legal due to 481.103(d) of the Texas Health and Safety Code.”)
I think if I were charged with a second degree felony with a 2-year mandatory minimum, I’d keep my mouth shut about it. Paul Wall seems to have that common sense, but not Baby Bash. First, Bash decided to tell the local TV station, KHOU-TV, how marijuana extracts aren’t “drugs” and tweeted that it was “no biggie” (Bash has since deleted the tweet).
“It’s 150 people there, some people have wax, which is THC concentrate, it’s no drug. They try to make it sound like a drug raid, but they are doing their job and we shouldn’t have did it. We did it at a public place and you know this ain’t California y’all,” said Baby Bash.
Just to make sure the prosecuting attorneys have enough corroborating evidence that people at the party were in possession of felony marijuana extracts, Bash then goes on video for the people at TMZ to once again make it clear that felonies were committed.
“All it was was like a little smoke out that got bigger than it should have been. … People had edibles, people had dabs… there were no drugs, they try to make it like we were a big druggie [sic], but it was all marijuana and THC.”
Bash talks about how he’s having difficulty balancing his split residency in California and Texas, and how in Texas he and Wall were “smoking some trees” and that “I guess Texas don’t play that.” But it’s hard to believe that Bash is only now becoming aware that Texas treats marijuana differently than California when he was busted in El Paso for marijuana with Wall just five-and-a-half years ago.
— Paul Wall (@paulwallbaby) September 11, 2011